Jack felt his knees pop as he knelt by the window. He figured he could jimmy the lock from the outside and they could make their way to the inner sections through the net of underground connections connecting the buildings together. As he eased the wire picks into the mechanism, he wondered if it were this easy to pick into someone's brain.
It could be easy. All you needed was to find a weak or fragile frame, and then just apply the right pressure in just the right place. Now that doesn't mean you can just shove it in; that's a direct way to a brain collapse; plus, if there's any kind of security, they'll come running in quick, and then you're fucked. No, what you wanted was a subtle slip, a knife's edge into the space. Something simple. Something they'll agree with. That's how you do it. Then, once you get inside, you can start to move around. Find other agreeable things. But the magic was, you didn't even have to find things they agreed with. Once you were inside, no one ever noticed the damage you could do.
It was like people had this heavy security wall that only looked out. They were incredibly skeptical about what was on the outside; that was part of the inertia; it just kept on going, blasting down the outside ideas. Criticizing and shooting them down for any number of reasons, real or imagined. But if something got in, then it was like they had a backstage pass at the Republican National Convention: Never questioned, never accused, never doubted. You were home free. So, first thing, get in. From there, you can start spreading, like some horrifically welcomed cancer. And oh, the things you can do.
See, most people aren't aware of how fragile their own ideas really are. They flit about inside the compound, only bumping into their own kind, agreeing with themselves constantly, and when this goes on long enough, they think they're strong, and assured, and righteous. But what happens when someone gets inside without their noticing? Yeah. Those pretty butterflies of ideas can get clipped so easily. Just... turn them a little. One dark idea can be like a reverse lamp, all the pretty flitting things don't get drawn to it, they turn away, they turn themselves, they turn into, they begin to become like that dark idea. They reflect. Once the dark idea is in there, they start to push a little. And all the flitting ideas agree with each other, so somehow, they have to agree with the dark idea, no?
And here's where the dark rationalization comes in. The immense power of those damn frontal lobes can turn piss into wine. Anything can become anything else, if you just give it a little time and a push. That little idea, that tiny, fragile thing, it so wants to be included in the greater picture, it wants to be part of the whole. But it sees that strong, dark thought and idea, and that idea is nudging. Why not? Why not become part of a larger idea? There's some sense in what they're saying, after all, no reason you shouldn't go along with it.
And all the while, the perimeter guards stand silent. After all, their job is to fight off outside concepts. All the difficult “mental” stuff happens on the inside, their job is just to keep stuff out. There's not upper level thinking going on here. They can't tell the difference between an idea that they started with and one that was snuck in. So when all the beautiful Moon Moth thoughts become flopping vultures, they start giving orders. To the guards. Of course, the guards don't question anything coming from the inside, they only question what's on the outside, yeah? So, slowly but surely, the guards start guarding against what used to be on the inside, and they keep safe what they used to repel. And that's all there is to it. The outside comes in.
But that doesn't account for the subversion through immersion that happens so often. You take a person who thinks one thing, and then you put them in an environment where every other person they talk to thinks the opposite. All day long, they're inundated with the same message; but not confrontational. A confrontation sets those guards up, and protects the flitting thoughts. No, the conversion by immersion happens when it's not even discussed. The constant opinion without rebuttal. It just lives in the environment. The guards, ordered to keep watch over differing opinions, eventually just accept it as part of the background noise. It becomes accepted as normal, and then it gets inside. And without even knowing it, you've become something other than you ever thought you could be.
So, with all of this, all of this mechanical, insidious, unthinking, unfeeling process, where so called “free thinking” people are forced to obey decades old rules they didn't even know they were signing up for, and don't even know how to change it, how the hell do you compete with something like that? By turning the guards around, and by pointing them inside your own head.
Instead of questioning every outside thought that you encountered, you need to question every thought you've ever had. Become a butterfly collector. Nail those fuckers to a board and study them. Where did your thoughts come from? What did you experience that caused you to think like that? And lastly, do you really agree with it, or after breaking it down, does it just not add up? When you start thinking like this, that what you are is a combination of your environment and the feedback loop you have with your environment.