RCA Viktor: His master’s voice in Canada (4)

Inside the Boom-Box–The Technical Data on RCA Viktor’s 2015 Sound System

How does Hungary’s ruling political Party, FIDESZ, use the language of political deception to get what it wants? How does Viktor Orbán’s government manipulate public opinion in Canada and around the world? How does it use the language of love and harmony, to generate applause, as it destroys the values that millions, including hundreds of thousands of Canadian soldiers fought to defend in the course of two World Wars?

RCA Viktor merchandizes itself as an organization that will bring love, unity, and peace into our lives. In an increasingly violent, hostile and divided world, who in their right mind would refuse such an offer? For Canada’s Hungarian emigré community, the basic message comes with an added sweetener: In addition to love, peace and unity, RCA Viktor stirs in a healthy dose of anti-communism, Christian fervour and patriotism. For those who were forced to flee their beloved homeland because of an atheist, repressive, internationalist system that called itself communist, this added sweetener packs a real wallop. Who in their right mind could refuse such a potent, uplifting offer? In 2015, RCA Viktor added an even more beguiling ingredient to the brew: it now offers up a kosher version, one that that promises to dampen the pain of the victims of the Holocaust. Who in their right mind could refuse that offer? Right? Wrong! I will show how the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, and the world’s greatest Holocaust scholar, Randolph Braham refused the offering. In this installment of my study I will push aside the merchandising rhetoric, and examine the merchandise. [For earlier installments of this series, see: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.]

The Test Results. What Do They Tell us?

a. General observations

The first striking feature about RCA Viktor’s new sound-system is that it does not come with a detailed operating manual. The user guide runs to only a couple of sentences – it is the simplest, user guide on the market today. Here is Michael Bernard Beckwith, one of the designers that RCA Viktor listens to: “All you have to do to receive is to feel good. When you are feeling good you are on the frequency of receiving…So get yourself on the feel-good frequency and you will receive…Feel good now!!” (Quoted in the monster international bestseller, The Secret, Rhonda Byrne (ed). Atria Books. New York. 2006. Pg 53. The book was translated into Hungarian and has been at the top of the Hungarian best seller’s list for years. It is particularly well liked and respected by the captains of Hungary’s communications industry and by the movers and shakers around FIDESZ.)

Another American thinker who is equally tight lipped about how to use the type of sound-system RCA Victor merchandizes in Canada and globally, is Dr John Hagelin. This is what he advises consumers to do, once they unpack the boom-box: “Have your finger on the „feeling happy” button. Press it now and keep your finger pressed down on it firmly, no matter what is happening around you… Be happy now, feel good now. That’s the only thing you have to do”. (Quoted in ibid. pg 133.)

The second surprising thing about RCA Viktor’s sound-system, and one that will surely disappoint sophisticated audiophiles is the total absence of written performance indicators in the user-guide. To stay with the earlier gift-horse analogy, this pony will not open its mouth. RCA Viktor’s sales-reps and DJs won’t return our calls, won’t allow critical reviewers into the show-rooms, the concert halls and will not discuss publicly any questions of concern. (See for example the unacknowledged letter addressed to Ambassador Ódor by the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter after he took up his post and began to play RCA Viktor’s new play-list at the end of 2014.  Please also refer to a detailed account by the author of this report of the efforts to consult with RCA Viktor’s top sales-reps – Zsolt Bede-Fazekas, Gábor Vaski and Dániel Feszty – who, as we shall show later, also double up as dedicated speakers in RCA Viktor’s Canadian sound-system. All of our efforts to dialogue with these RCA Viktor reps/speakers was flatly rejected. See, „Záróra”. Kanadai Magyar Hírlap. January 17, 2015.)

Hear My Silence / Farshad Sanaee.

Hear My Silence / Farshad Sanaee.

Neither the user-guide nor the sales-brochure tells us anything about the resistance of RCA Viktor’s Canadian speakers. We have no data on how many watts per channel are being pumped into them by RCA Viktor’s dedicated amplifier. There is nothing in the brochure about sound fidelity, maintenance protocols, levels of distortion according to varying volume levels. What is the reason for these omissions? RCA Viktor’s sales-people have a ready made answer. They simply say, that people choose their sound-systems on emotional grounds, on the basis of looks and sound. People choose RCA Viktor’s sound-system because they like what they hear. People trust their ears, they are not interested in complicated technical data. They don’t want to be bothered with technical details most would not understand anyways.

We have acknowledge these responses, indeed, we agree with them. We know, that when we shop around for a new HI-FI, a sales-man usually sits us into a comfortable armchair, fidgets with the dials, and asks us to appreciate the new look and the new sound. We have no problem with those, who choose to turn their backs on the “specs” and choose their HI FI on the basis of looks and sound alone. While this sales approach is perfectly understandable, it leaves a question unanswered: why not answer the discriminating audiophile, who has a right, after all, to know what’s inside the the boom-box, how is it wired, what are its specs ? The reluctance to divulge the technical details of the system to those whose job is to dig deeper and offer sound advice to the public about competing products on the market is even more deplorable. We wanted to get to the bottom of this reluctance and this is what we found..

The reluctance to divulge technical data is part of the corporate philosophy RCA Viktor inherited from the founders of NLP, from Positive Psychology and from the creators of The Law of Attraction. By its own admission, NLP follows the structure of magic. The last thing a magician wants to do, especially if he wants to maintain interest, is to reveal the secrets of his craft. But let’s listen directly to the horse’s mouth. This is how Dr Joe Vitale, one of the world’s top marketing specialists, and a certified hypnotherapist explains RCA Viktor’s reluctance to reveal its modus operandi: “The how is not your part in the creative process” he admonishes us. How RCA Viktor’s sound-machine works, how it makes us feel so good, „is not our concern or job. When you are trying to work out the how…you are emitting a frequency that contains a lack of faith” and this will spoil people’s enjoyment of the sound-experience.

Dr. Vitale’s colleague Bob Proctor, who is also an internationally recognized prosperity counsellor and the author of the best sellers You Were Born Rich (Life Success Prodictions Inc, 1997), and The ABC of Success (Tarcher, 2015), reinforces the message: “Anyone that ever accomplished anything, did not know how they were going to do it. They only knew they were going to do it”. (Both quotations are taken from ibid. pg. 51.)

It is thanks to people like Dr Joe Vitale and Bob Proctor, that RCA Viktor’s sound-machine doesn’t come with any specs, and why none are provided to those who ask for them. His Master’s Voice demands that we put our money down, hit the happy button, sit in front of the speakers and enjoy the sound like a good puppy, If by chance we’re not thrilled, pretend that we are. When the music is over, we should say thank you and ask no embarrassing questions. When in July, 2014 Viktor Orbán announced in Romania and quite unexpectadly, that he will build an illiberal state in Hungary patterned after the Russian blueprint, he followed Bob Poctor’s success formula. He expressly asked his audience not to press him on how he will do this, and what impact it will have on the lives of ordinary citizens. All he would divulge was this: „Trust me – anything is possible” (For the English translation of his full speech please see Budapest Beacon, July 29, 2014) When Jim Jones asked his followers in the depths of the Guyana jungle to drink up, they did so without asking any questions.

As consumer rights activists, we’re not here to test salesmanship, but product reliability. Our job is to distinguish between illusion and reality, between persuasion and deception. We took RCA Viktor’s sound-system apart and came up with some revealing findings. It is incumbent upon us to issue a “Buyers Beware” warning. There is more to RCA Viktor’s failure to provide reliable performance indicators than meets the eye. The omission of performance data in RCA Viktor’s sales brochure is the first indicator of a product malfunction. There is a malware implanted in the new system. It was placed there to deceive and to keep tabs on the listener. As in all earlier cases, we were unable to get an answer from Headquarters.

Let us now briefly summarize the key changes that distinguish this year’s model from last year’s.

The engineers of RCA Viktor’s latest sound-system did not alter the basic design principle which I briefly highlighted in my opening section. They merely replaced their first generation amplifier/tuner/record-player with a new one – in the case of Canada, RCA Viktor retired its first ambassador, László Pordány, and replaced him with Bálint Ódor. This maneuver was duplicated in a number of theatres around the world, including the USA, where a well meaning but rather hapless Ambassador was replaced by a much more attractive working mother, Réka Szemerkényi.

In addition to the above component change, RCA Viktor also upgraded the capacity and deployment of its speakers. The final instalment of this consumer report will have more to say about the sound emitted by these speakers. At this point we can only identify them briefly and ask our readers to wait patiently till the next instalment of this report appears. The wait won’t be long.

The sub-base “woofer” of RCA Viktor’s sound system in Canada is The National Association of Canadian Hungarians headed by Dániel Feszty, a professor at Carleton University. The mid range speakers are, by necessity, more numerous. They include the Toronto Hungarian Radio, headed by Zsolt Bede-Fazekas, the Toronto Hungarian TV, headed by Zoltán Maros, the Canadian-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce Montreal Chapter, headed by Tony Kéz, the Montreal Hungarian Kronika, headed by Mária Mailath, the Canadian Hungarian Cultural Council, headed by Ágnes Somorjai, the Montreal Hungarian Committee which was spearheaded for a while by the parish-priest of the Montreal Hungarian Catholic community, Tamás Androvich. (“Father Tom”, the name given to him by his flock, is a devoted follower of the spiritual founder of Hungarian anti-Semitism, the late Bishop, Ottokár Prohászka. Father Tom left his flock stranded, suddenly and quite mysteriously the night before Easter a couple of years ago. He left the parish without saying good bye or telling anyone where he was going. He is now a baggage handler at Dorval Airport and is no longer active in his Church.) The Montreal Hungarian Committee is now in the hands of a more low profile RCA Viktor fan, Tibor Kelemen, whose muted mid-range resonance is a welcome change to some.

I will also talk about such unusual mid-range speakers as the Canadian-Hungarian Veterans Association, founded by those military officers who spearheaded the Hungarian war effort on behalf of the Nazis during WWII. The Canadian chapter is headed by Gyula Detre who was Chief of Security to Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szálasi, the man who was executed as a war criminal at the end of WWII. Szálasi was Hungary’s Führer, Hungary’s mini-Hitler, who took over the reins of government in Hungary during the closing stages of WWII. He was executed for ordering the murder of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews, Gypsies and Homo Sexuals. and for prolonging the fighting on the Eastern front, which resulted in the uneccessary death of tens of thousands of Allied soldiers including many Canadians. Detre gives us an interesting and sympathetic account of Hitler’s eye-movements the last time he came face-to-face with him in Berlin. He paints an almost idyllic account of his happy-days serving Szálasi and of his commitment to prolonging the siege of Budapest. (For those who may not know, after Stalingrad, the siege of Budapest was the second longest siege by the Allies in WWII. It resulted in the destruction of the entire inner core of Budapest, all of the Danube bridges, roads, railway systems, the country’s industry, agriculture, infrastructure was totally destroyed As the German and Hungarian troops retreated to the West, they blew up everything that could be of use to anyone. It’s thanks to that siege, that I nearly died of starvation as a new-born.) Years ago, Detre was nominated, but not selected, for the Order of Canada. (Please consult his biography, available in Hungarian and English. Vitéz Detre Gyula. Történelem közelről/History First-Hand. Antológia Publishers. Lakitelek. 2007. The Hungarian version can be downloaded freely from the net at this site.)

Apart from the sub-base woofer and the mid-range speakers, there are a number of dedicated high-frequency “tweeters” in RCA Viktor’s sound-system, that are strategically deployed across Canada. There are too many to mention here by name. They include such individuals as Rózsa Dancs, a key community fixture in Toronto, and Judy Young, a very recent and surprisingly effective new “tweeter”. The latter is located in the National Capital Region and is particularly effective in transmitting those Holocaust remembrance programs that have made DJ Ódor so popular in some Canadian circles recently.

In addition to the component changes outlined above, we need also to remind listeners about the replacement of Homo Politicus’ emotional strings with those of Homo Economicus. As we have shown earlier, harping on commonly shared political values was an increasingly hard sell for RCA Viktor– so much bullshit, as Orbán would say to a former US Ambassador in Budapest. Commonly shared economic values such as trade, commerce, job creation and investments are easier to sell, are more relevant to audiences in an era of growing economic uncertainty. These are now the main strings RCA Viktor is harping on in Canada and around the world. These are the strings that can best enhance the revenue flow to headquarters. (For a good analysis of this rewiring, I suggest two excellent essays by Ara Kovács Attila, a high ranking former member of Hungary’s Foreign Ministry. “Nélkülözhetetlen emberek”. Magyar Narancs, January 24, 2015 and “Diplomaták karrier nélkül”. Magyar Narancs. November 14, 2014. For the rationale behind the rewiring please look at earlier parts of my own study. For the mathematically minded econometricians in this audience, please turn to the study I referred to in earlier parts of my essay: Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman. How Modern Dictators Survive. Discussion Paper No. 10454. Centre for Economic Policy Research, London. March 2015)

In this general round-up of the changes that distinguish RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound system from earlier models, we should mention the funky play-list that comes with the boom-box. It finally includes Hungarian Jewish and Klezmer music, to the delight of discriminating audiences. By all accounts the, concert organized by Bálint Ódor at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa on June 15th was a great success. (To hear the sound of the Ottawa concert, we recommend putting our ears to one of RCA Viktor’s Canadian mid-range speakers – Magyar Krónika, June 18, 2015.) The upcoming performance in Montreal and around the US should also be well received. To be sure: only people with special invitations can attend these performances – anyone likely to be critical is denied entry. At these special events organized by RCA Viktor’s newly appointed North American DJs, Jews are suddenly not only welcomed with open arms like never before. They are now part of the “in-crowd.” Gypsies, or Roma, as they are also known, or openly gay individuals are still very much at arms length. If the mayor of Budapest could have his way, the latter would all be banned to the outskirts of Budapest. We’ve yet to hear hear about this latter proposal from DJ Ódor in Ottawa or if he is planning any concerts for those who are being discriminated against because of their sexual preferences. Suffice it to say, that RCA Viktor’s newest DJs in North America enthusiastically donate their time and their country’s public funds to the emission of Holocaust memorials on this continent. Unfortunately, in Hungary, most of the money RCA Victor spends on the theme, goes to the whitewashing of Hungary’s responsibility for the murder of 600,000 Jews.

As we shall show in the coming section of this series, the sudden sensitivity of RCA Victor’s sound-system to the enduring pain of Hungary’s Holacoust victims is a welcome change, but it also reveals a serious integrity problem. The lab results do not lie. RCA Viktor’s speakers are disharmonious: to put it in layman’s term, they are out of synch with each other. While one of the speakers is playing the strings of a solemn Holocaust memorial, the other is celebrating those who fought along the Nazis in World War II. This is particularly true of the mid-range speaker, Magyar Krónika, that operates out of Montreal. On the day that it reported on the Ottawa Holocaust concert it also reported on the attendance of a high ranking official from Orbán’s PMO at a rally celebrating those soldiers who defended Hungarian Nazi leader Ferenc Szálasi and those politicians who sent Hungary’s Jews to the gas chambers. This absence of systemic integrity is a serious problem, a potentially lethal design flaw.

A celebration of Hungary's World War II soldiers. Zsolt Semjén, the deputy prime minister, openly supported this event.

A celebration of Hungary’s World War II soldiers. Zsolt Semjén, the deputy prime minister, openly supported this event.

Let us sum up our general observations: According to the first test-results, RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound-system is off to a good start, but there are a number of worrying signs that spell trouble down the road. The launch was a success. The early results on the all important Canadian test-market are encouraging, but the flaws that we outlined above could quickly overwhelm the system and eliminate the early market-lead. Systems integrity is the major weakness of the new model. The problem is similar to the one that created a systemic melt-down for the Reverend Jim Jones in the jungles of Guyana decades ago. Our earlier comments and those that follow serve only one purpose: to forestall such a calamity.

b. The specifics

In the following sections I will highlight 6 of the most problematical flaws in RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound-system. We invite colleagues to follow the evidence, to test the protocols, and notify us of any problems they may encounter in trying to verify our findings. Needless to say, any omissions or mistakes will be immediately corrected, if the claim is supported by verifiable evidence, rather than emotionally fuelled rhetoric. The authors of this report welcome public debate and discourse on the findings. They would be especially pleased to speak about them live and on air, through RCA Viktor’s sound-system.

i. RCA Viktor’s sound-system produces a high level of distortion

RCA Viktor’s latest sound-system does not move us closer to the „true sound” that audiophiles die for. The distortion is almost painful to the discriminating ear. What is surprising is, that this anomaly is not an accident, but the result of a conscious manufacturing philosophy. NLP’s original engineers are unapologetic: „NLP does not aspire for truth or objectivity. It only wants to be useful. NLP is simply a screen. Pretend as if our principles are true and you will see how useful this will be. If you change your screen, you can change your entire world”.(Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour. Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Bioenergetic Publishers, Budapest. 1996. Pg. 27. Translated by this author.) The game RCA Viltor’s systems engineers invented in order to entertain us is, make-believe. Here is the formula, summarized for us in plain English. „Pretend. Play games of having wealth. You will feel instantly better about money and as you feel better about it, it will begin to flow into your life…. You must imagine, pretend, act, as if make- believe. Its a fun game that works” (See The Secret, op.cit pp 60, 98-99). David Shirmer, another one of the promoters of this system doesn’t mince his words: “When you make-believe the results come fast!” (Ibid. Pg 105)

While NLP’s international sound-engineers are clearly biased towards make-belief sound, they do not rule totally out of order the transmission of objectivity and truth. RCA Viktor’s Hungarian executives on the other hand are categorical. Here is RCA Viktor’s VP, László Kövér, who happens to be the current head of Hungary’s parliament: “If anybody thinks that politics is about telling the truth, they are tragically mistaken…in politics the only thing that matters is who wins, who has more mandates”. (The interview appeared in RCA Viktor’s favorite publicity organ, Demokrata, March 9, 2006.) This public statement by RCA Viktor’s VP has never been withdrawn or modified. It is László Kövér’s opportunistic political stand on the events surrounding the murder of 6000,000 innocent Hungarian Jews that compelled Elie Wiesel to return all the high awards heaped on him by the Hungarian state.

ii. The sound-system utilizes the language of love to override its distorted sound

The handbook used by RCA Viktor’s sound-engineers, recommends the utilization of coded words or triggers to turn us on, to get us into a happy state of mind, to alter our mood, in order to elicit sympathy and trust, two of the prerequisites of lasting brand loyalty. These triggers are the keys to a succesful sales pitch. Love, unity, peace are three of NLP’s most favoured generic triggers. In my introduction, I identified anti-communism, Christian fellowship and patriotism as triggers that RCA Viktor added later, and especially for North American audiences. I also mentioned the availability, since early this year, of a kosherized trigger that’s proving to be highly effective, especially in Canada, and in the hands of DJ Ódor.

Triggers have always played a critical role in RCA Viktor’s sound-system. Their role is to override the distorted sound eminating from its speakers. „Love and Unity” is on the official logo of FIDESZ. This is why the massive and intimidating public marches in the streets of Budapest against the democratic opposition are branded as „Peace-marches” (For more details about the true nature of these marches please visit this Facebook page. For the curious minded, I’d like to mention that none of the earlier mentioned speakers would broadcast – sign – the petition that proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the Budapest peace-rally was a fraud, and was organized by people who are well known hate mongers. The organizers of these hate-rallies were later decorated by RCA Viktor, for their splendid job in silencing the competition.

There are hundreds of references we can marshal from the original manuals to illustrate the critical role played by three words – love, unity and peace – in the international dictionary on political deception, and in RCA Viktor’s deceptive sound-system. I will only resort to using just two in order to illustrate the point. The first one is recent, the second is almost as old as the Hungarian state. First, Lisa Nichols, a Law of Attraction professor who, according to her bio, is also „a powerful advocate of personal empowerment, the CEO of Motivating the Masses, and the co-author of a best seller, Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul”. This is the advice she gives to the masses, this is the type of empowerment she advocates, this is the essence of RCA Viktor’s broadcast sound: “It’s not your job to change the world, or the people around you. It’s your job to go with the flow of the Universe and to celebrate… Don’t spend your energy faulting or complaining… Focus instead on trust, love, abundance and peace. Embrace everything that you want so you can get more of it. When you are praising or blessing you are on the highest frequency.” (The Secret, op-cit pp 143-151)

Dante is probably the earliest of those „consumer rights advocates”, who warned us about the love trigger used by RCA Viktor’s sound-engineers. More than 800 years ago, roughly around the time that the Magyars were beginning to behave in an orderly, Christian fashion in their new found home in the Carpathian basin, Dante took his readers on a guided tour of the city of Dis, deep in the lower regions of Inferno and introduced us to some of the most trigger-happy, most famous political con artists in history who are now residents of that city. In a recent psychoanalitic interpretation of Dante’s work, two American authors R.G. Schaub and R. Schaub, provide an excellent summary of the love trigger that RCA Viktor’s sound-system utilizes in order to defraud us: “It (the trigger) stimulates your innate love, and then manipulates you. You are fooled and harmed because of your own loving and trusting nature. Fraud counts on you being a good person and uses that goodnes against you” (See: Dante’s Path. New York. Gotham Books, 2003. Pg. 60). The problem with RCA Viktor’s love-trigger according to the two American writers is this: it it leaves a sound-effect that can’t be erased from memory. “In the course of our life, we have to adjust to and get past many problems – but we never get past betrayal. You may forget the details of the betrayal but you never get past the fact, that trusting your loving nature turned out to be a dangerous mistake”. (ibid. Pg 60). The Reverend Jim Jones knew what the two American psychologists were referring to. This is why he asked his followers to drink up. This good shepherd didn’t want his flock to remember anything.

Dante’s Path, gives us one of the best clues about why RCA Viktor is so reluctant to discuss the duplicitous nature of its trigger, and why it tries to silence those who want to talk about it. It also gives us the answer to why Anna Politkovskaya was killed in Russia. It also explains the more recent assassination of Boris Nemtsov on the front steps of the Kremlin. While locally, in the place where I’m reporting from, there have been no such episodes, we have heard some lamentations about the suspension of assassinating dissidents. We’re happy to report, that in Canada and amongst the organized fans of Viktor Orbán in this country,, excomunication and slander is the favorite tool for silencing dissidents. We trust this approach will remain in force in the future as well. Though what we would really like to see is fearless, open dialogue amongst equals. This is the best way to handle political competition in a democracy. This is the most effective way ahead for intelligent societies. This is how civil societies manage and harness the disruptive energies of conflict and dissent.

Here then lies the greatest threat to the sustainability and long-run competitiveness of RCA Viktor’s new sound-system in North America. In a closed society, such as Hungary, or Russia, the vulnerability can be protected or shielded for a long time. In open societies, this vulnerability is a serious handicap.

iii. The sound-system comes with an automatic replay button that could become a counter-productive irritant

Those who work in marketing know, that the maintenance of brand-loyalty is a protracted process. The technical term for achieving enduring brand attachment is anchoring. Triggers are important devices to grab our attention, to draw us in, but we need anchors to tie us to the brand over the long haul. According to the gurus at NLP, repetition is one of the best anchors ever invented. “In cases, where the emotional ties may be weak, or weakening, it is essential to repeat the key words and phrases that elicit sympathy in order to ensure anchoring and a lasting commitment on the part of the listener” (Joseph O’Connor, op.cit. pg. 78).

To anchor its brand, RCA Viktor built an automatic replay button into its sound system. One of the phrases that it plays over and over again is this: „Hungary is Performing Better”, (Magyarország jobban teljesít) This simple, three word phrase features prominently as the back-drop to every press-conference organized by RCA Viktor’s executives. Like the maple leaf in Canada’s official logo, its part of the letterhead, it’s on every document issued by the Hungarian government. It cannot be avoided, it’s repetition taken to the n’th degree.We can see a good demonstration of this anchoring device in the visual part of the recording that was recently broadcast on one of RCA Viktor’s mid-range speakers in Canada – an interview, with the spokesperson of FIDESZ, Bencze Tuzson. (See the YouTube video here.)

Another brand-anchoring device used by RCA Viktor is a bit longer in text. It’s a one page, large print and framed document, that’s put up in every government building in Hungary, and in highly visible places so neither public servants nor ordinary citizens can avoid making eye-contact with it. This is the National Unity Statement, that FIDESZ passed through Hungary’s Parliament shortly after it came to power in 2010. National unity, or harmony has been raised to the level of a state ideology, it’s in the new constitution, its themes are constantly reinforced in the daily broadcasts emited by RCA Viktor’s sound-system. The utilization of national harmony as an ideological anchor is well known throughout the world, as we have shown in the first part of our series. It is the favourite mobilizational tool of repressive regimes, a favourite instrument to manufacture consent (Please take a look Manufacturing Consent, by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. New York. Pantheon Books. 1988. And while looking at Chomsky, why not linger on his Language and Politics. Black Rose Books. Montreal.1988).

While theoretically, repetition may be an effective brand-maintenance mechanism it may b very counterproductive if real-life experiences do not match the rhetoric. There are powerful signs of this right now in Hungary. In the first installment of this series, I pointed out some of the most serious contradictions between reality and the oft repeated claims of the Orbán regime.to be the champions of success. Hungarians are working harder and harder, but are enjoying less and less the fruits of their labour due to the rampant corruption and cronyism in high places. This disillusionment explains why nearly 500,000 pople left that country since Orbán came to power and why so many others have indicated in surveys, that they would like to follow suit. I also pointed out that in the last national election, 73% of Hungary’s eligible voters did not select RCA Viktor as their favorite political brand. These are disturbingly powerful indicators of brand disloyalty at home.

The situation is much better outside of Hungary, where the contrast between reality and illusion is much more difficult to gauge. People living in Canada cannot experience on their skin, the impact of Orbán’s economic policies, they can not feel the heavy hand of the MaffiaState, the corruption and the cronyism. The built in replay button may not be as frustrating here as it is in Hungary. This may explain why RCA Viktor expects a more favourable rate of return on its sound-system sales here as opposed to the domestic market. A word of caution is in order however: RCA Viktor’s competitors in North America may very well exploit the inherent weakness of this irritating anchoring device. The repetition may become counterproductive here as well. Instead of anchoring us, instead of making us jump for joy, it may simply irritate like the sound of a needle stuck in the groove of a broken, long-playing record.

iv. The sound-system comes with an emotional bias that cannot be switched off

The three schools of engineering with the biggest impact on RCA Viktor are united in their commitment to the production of sounds that connect with us strictly on an emotional, subjective level. The default setting forces us to listen with our heart, rather than our brain. (The choice by RCA Viktor of the mega-hit, “Listen to Your Heart” as its campaign jingle is no coincidence). Milton Erickson is the person who set up this bias originally. RCA Viktor’s sound system is based on the so-called “Milton-Model” that we have described in more detail earlier. The logic of this default setting is best left to its inventors: „It creates a bubble to ensure that our experiences become more subjective, more inward looking, so we can remove objectivity from our thoughts” (J. O’Connor and J. és Seymour, ibid, pp. 139-145) While such a bias is no doubt popular with some people and self-delusion is an enjoyable state to be in, especially if we are in a hopeless situation, the unalterable nature of this bias, the inability to override it, will greatly frustrate those listeners who are interested in objectivity and prefer to face up to rather than be sheltered from reality.

v. The system promises interactivity but won’t tolerate critical feedback

The „take-away” that RCA Viktor’s sound system promises to deliver, is interactivity and full control by the audience over the program content broadcast through its speakers. When we took apart RCA Viktor’s sound-system we discovered that the promised interactivity is a hoax. This was the conclusion of the European Parliament as well on June 10, 2015 after it looked at the „national consultation system” of the Orbán government on immigration and capital punnishment. Deputies passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to branch out and examine the entire spectrum of the sound being amitted by RCA Viktor’s speakers at home and abroad. They asked the Commission to “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process on the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and to report back on this matter to the European Parliament and Council before September 2015… If necessary, the Union should apply EU article 7 sanctions, including the suspension of Hungary’s voting right in the Union.” (For the full text of the resolution see this page.)

What follows is a random selection of views from those whose works had a powerful influence on the evolution of RCA Viktor’s philosophy about interactivity and feedback.

Jack Canfield, according to his bio, is “America’s leading expert in creating success breakthroughs” , This is what he has to say on the subject: “Your feelings rather than your mind are your your frequency feedback mechanisms.” (Quoted in ibid.. pg 33) He admonishes those who react critically to the programs they see and hear: “The anti-war movement created more wars, the anti-drug movement created more drugs… You cannot help the world by focusing on the negative things. As you focus on the negative events of the world, you not only add to them but you bring more negative things into your own life the same time”. (Quoted in ibid. pp 142-144.)

James Ray, the developer of the „Science of Success and Harmonic Wealth”, a system which, according to Ray’s bio is “used worldwide and teaches people how to receive unlimited results in all areas” has this to say about the subject of critical feedback: „When you allow a thought of doubt to enter your mind…release it immediately”. To back up his statement with a piece of advice drawn from his own success story, he tells us that he has given up „watching the news or reading newspapers because it did not make me feel good” (Quoted in Ibid. Pages 89 and 145).

Bob Doyle, who, according to his bio is the creator of the „Wealth Beyond Reason Program…a powerful multi-media curriculum on the law of attraction which will help you to attract wealth, success, awesome relationships, and anything else you desire” is also explicit: „Resistance is a futile pursuit” (Quoted in Ibid. pg 142) The editors of the volume on the Law of Attraction neatly sum up all of the above: „What you resist you attract..Any time you look at yourself with critical eyes, switch your focus immediately…Do not listen to society’s negative messages. They do not serve you….Every negative thought, feeling or emotion is blocking your good from coming to you” (Ibid. pages, 100, 139, 152, 173)

Our analysis of the promised interactivity revealed that RCA Viktor will only listen to you if you are happy, and supportive of its sound. It does make one small concession, and it will be interesting to see if the European law-makers will be mollified by this. You do not have to be actually happy, RCA Viktor tells us – it’s enough if you pretend to be so. Here is the formula about this concession from Jack Canfield, one of the system pioneers: „just visualize the goal as if it’s already achieved” (Quoted in The Secret. Op.cit. pg.96) Instead of fretting and complaining just fantasize, make the fantasy into a fact, and you’ll feel happy. Bob Proctor provides additional encouragement “When you turn that fantasy into fact, you’re in the position to build bigger and bigger fantasies. And that, my friend, is the Creative Process” (Ibid. p 37) That is how the feedback mechanism is set up to work. Apart from the small concession by RCA Viktor, the feedback mechanism, like the repeat-play button, or the emotional setting button is set into one, unchangeable mode.

This is our finding. RCA Viktor’s intolerance for critical feedback is a fatal flaw, one that will greatly hinder RCA Viktor’s 2015 model to compete on those markets that value and demand open, two-way communications services. Consumers will see through the artificiality of the promise, and will recognize the fraud. If they don’t do so on their own the competition will most certainly make them aware of this shortcoming. This flaw promises to quickly erode RCA Viktor’s early competitive advantages on the North American market, perhaps as early as September of this year. .

vi. The system’s AFP dial is deceptive. It’s locked on subliminal which conflicts with current international regulations

I’m going to examine the program content of RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound-system in the final instalment of this series. To put a slight twist into Marshall McLuhan’s oft repeated phrase, I will demonstrate how the medium becomes the message. (For those who’d like to turn on to Marshall McLuhan, here is the tour du force. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Gingko Press. 1964) In this section I will only talk about the automatic mechanism that selects, prioritizes and loads the messages into the medium, prior to injecting them into our minds in order to seduce us, in order to enable us to better appreciate His Master’s Voice

The dial that controls selects, prioritizes and and loads the messages into the boom-box is the AFP dial. (Copyright ABG) The 3 letters in AFP refer to three interrelated activities or functions that all sound-systems perform as soon as they are turned on. These are: Agenda setting, Framing and Priming. These activities are usually controlled by one dial in most sound-systems on the market today. The dial controls “what issues the news media emphasizes (agenda setting) how those issues are reported (framing) and the effects of this reporting (priming) on audiences”. ( L..C.Bell, J.L. Conners, T.F. Sheckels. Perspectives on Political Communication. New York. Pearson.2008. pg. 76)

Here is another quotation to help us grasp the concept. I’m using it here, because it is very relevant to the situation in Hungary today, where immigration policy has been put on top of the political agenda by the Orbán government. ”Whereas framing describes the manner in which the media conceptualize an issue or person in general, priming suggests a more targeted and focused attempt to condition audience and reader response. For example a newspaper might frame an election as „the immigration election” even though it is about more than that. Readers might then be primed to regard immigrants as a social, economic and „criminal” problem” (See P. Nesbitt-Larking. Politics, Society and the Media. Broadview Press. 2007. Pg. 335) Priming is what the hundreds of giant government billboards are doing these days in Hungary. They are priming Hungarians to regard immigrants as threats, criminals and undesirables who may dilute the Christian and white character of their homeland.

Agenda setting, Framing and Priming are well known activities to those who work in the field of mass communications or in political marketing. There is no need to immerse ourselves in the techicalities of this mechanism – that would defeat the purpose of this report which is, after all, targeted at a lay audience. But we need to know, however superficially, what’s the role of this control mechanism, what happens when it’s locked into subliminal mode and why the EU Parliament is so worried about such practices. Here is a simple illustration. Here then is the idiot’s guide to RCA Viktor’s AFP dial.

Framing is analogous to what we do when we work with photoshop, for example. Framing enables us to control how we want our final picture to look like to outsiders. We decide what is going to be left in the picture and what will be discarded, or „photoshopped” out. With photoshop we can dress up a wolf in sheep’s clothing and vice versa. This is what RCA Viktor’s sound-system does when it reframes, the person who signed the death warrants of 600,000 Hungarian Jews – Admiral Horthy – and photoshops him as the savior of the Jews. This is what RCA Viktor’s sound system does when it reframes immigrants as criminals. This is what the camp commander at Auschwitz did when he put up the sign at the entrance to his death camp: Work Sets You Free.

According to the originators of NLP, framing is tailor made for politics. (See: J. O’Connor and J. Seymour. Op.cit. pg.159-160.) „The essence of framing and reframing is to alter behavior, to stop people from doing things that we don’t want them to do and to get them on our side…We can achieves this purpose subliminally by changing the moods of our listeners, by turning them on to us, and once we have done that, by presenting them alternatives – a new frame – that no one in their right mind would refuse” (ibid. Pg 159)

RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound-system is based on a manual that is particularly attentive to framing. The practitioner is emphatically instructed to keep the distinction between purpose and behavioral modification hidden from public scrutiny. The manual warns all political wanna-bees to be especially careful not to reveal or publicise the purpose that drives them. Here are the instructions straight from the teachers: „The purpose of the framing exercise should not be revealed” (J.O’Connor and J. Seymour, op.cit. 158-160).

Framing, in the hands of NLP’s practitioners, is a highly precise, elaborate, 6 step process. NLP does not mince its words about the subliminal nature of the process. „Anyone who follows these 6 steps is put into a mellow trance and is focused on the inside, rather than on the outside world, the objective reality” (Ibid. 162. oldal). Who in their right mind would say no to the messages of love, peace and harmony coming out of RCA Viktor’s speaker-system? Who, among the victims of Communism would turn their back on a God-fearing, anti-Communist and patriotic leader? Who in their right mind would not drink up, when the Reverend Jim Jones said – Drink Up !

To sum up: The problem with RCA Viktor’s 2015 sound-system is that its AFP control button is permanently on subliminal setting. It’s purposefully locked by the manufacturer. It cannot be controlled by the listener. RCA Viktor’s AFP switch is set on a level that’s banned not only by the EU’s regulatory bodies, but by our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s set to bring out the worst instincts in audiences and leaves no option to dissenters than to corrupt the dial – to splatter with paint the bill-boards in Hungary that insult the human dignity of those who are not white and are non-Christian. The EU Parliament has given notice to the manufacturer. There are ways to control illegal immigration. Drowning these people in hatred is not a legitimate tool.

Hungary should have learned something by now of the massacre that its earlier immigration policies led to at Kamenets-Podolski in the Ukraine in August 1941. During the first years of the 1940s Hungary was a safe haven to Jews who wanted to escape the final solution worked out for them by the Nazis. In August 1941, the Hungarian gendarmerie rounded up 25,000 of these „illegal” immigrants, crammed them into cattle cars like animals, and dropped them off in a Nazi controlled part of the Ukraine. Once the distraught travellers disembarked, they were machine-gunned into open pits by the German soldiers that awaited them. Zvi Zelikovitch, a mere child, was one of these immigrants. He was dropped off with his parents and sibblings, but unlike them, he decided to take his life into his hands and began to run like a bat out of hell. Like Herschel Grynszpan, he also turned his back on the offer that so many others were not able refuse. But unlike Herschel, Zvi Zelikovitch lived to write about his experience (Zvi Zelikovitch Docostory Ltd. 2005). Eye witnesses at the scene reported that the earth above Zvi’s parents and relatives, above the bodies of 25,000 immigrants who were shot that day in August, above those who were gunned down like animals and then quickly covered up with earth, rolled like the sea for days afterwards. Many were still alive and kicking and screaming in pain while the earth was shovelled over them. The soldiers were on a tight deadline.

The massacre at Kaments Podolski was recently reframed by Sándor Szakály, a high ranking member of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office and a close associate of DJ Ódor, RCA Viktor’s man in Ottawa. Szakály is the Head of the Veritas Historical Institute, an Institute created by the PMO to whitewash Hungary’s role in the deportation and eventual murder of 600,000 Jews during WWII. Szakály photoshopped the deportation of the 25,000 immigrants as an administrative arrangement by the government of Admiral Horthy. Will the 450,000 deportees to Auschwitz be soon given the same carte blanche? I shall return to this in my last instalment.

I’d like to close this instalment with the words of Zvi Zelikovitch. This is what resonated in his head for years after he got out of the frame at Kamanets-Podolski. This is what he remembers after he outran the bullets that flew around him like a swarm of angry bees.

I ask myself even to this day,
why did I remain alive?
How did I manage to run at such a blinding speed,
Just like the wind?
The bullets simply did not hit me.

4 Comments

  1. Pierre Divenyi says:

    Dear Andras,
    Everything you say is right and I wish Canadian and American officials understood its implications to their own foreign policy. I wish you had a shorter version in which only the facts are stated — you are too emotionally involved in the story (I don’t blame you) that you want a large Canadian-based audience to absorb.
    Keep up the good work of spreading the idea of democracy on the North-American continent. I personally hope for you to succeed, probably sooner in Canada than in the US.
    -Pierre/Peter

  2. András B. Göllner says:

    Dear Pierre Divenyi. Thanks for the kind words. I’m a follower of Hume and Kant. I am involved emotionally as well as rationally in the processes of understanding. The reason why Liberals are nowhere in their battle with RCA Viktor is, that they have not read Lakoff, they do not understand the power of emotional language. What would you say to Randolph L. Braham’s massive study on the murder of Hungary’s Jews ? Keep it shorter, Randolph, keep your distance and keep up the good work ? These types of praises are a bit silly, if you don’t mind me saying so. For those who find the article too long, I offer a solution – kindly melt it down to your spoon size. It’s user friendly. 🙂

    For those who are not so much into spoon feeding I can promise, that the next installment will be a bit shorter. It will pack some emotion. That’s how I play.

  3. You should see the hate campaign that klezmer musicians organized against Anna Bayer in DC, just because she dared to call them out for their collaboration with the Hungarian government and embassy. They dragged Anna’s name and reputation through the mud. These people are blind to what’s happening around them and how they’re being used.

  4. Váradi László says:

    Thanks, András, great piece.

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