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    U.S. President Barack Obama smiles during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after bilateral talks at Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover, northern Germany, Sunday, April 24, 2016

    Has Obama's White House Tried to Use Mind Control to Push Government Programs?

    © AP Photo / Michael Sohn
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    Maybe not quite. But newly released records reveal that the Obama Administration quietly hired 120 social and behavioral research experts to help sell policy to the public.

    The records were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch. They found that in 2015, Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to use behavioral science to sell programs to the public. According to the documents, the government contracted “20 leading social and behavioral research experts” from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) for “more than 75 agency collaborations.”

    “The records, obtained from the OSTP under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), also include a delivery by Holdren in which he insists that the social and behavioral sciences ‘are real science, with immensely valuable practical applications—the views of a few members of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding—and that these sciences abundantly warrant continuing support in the Federal science and technology budget,’” Judicial Watch reports.

    “Holdren, a Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate is a peculiar character who worked as an environmental professor at Harvard and the University of California Berkeley before becoming Obama’s science advisor. In the late 70s he co-authored a book with doomsayer Paul Ehrlich advocating for mandatory sterilization of the American people and forced abortions in order to depopulate the country. A head of the OSTP Holdren technically oversees the SBST.”

    Judicial Watch asserts that the administration cited an exemption, officially known as B5, to withhold nearly 100 pages of documents which they believe “could have shed light on the taxpayer-funded group’s secret operations.” 

    In the annual report to the President last year, SBST claims to help “better serve the nation” by identifying how behavioral insights can be integrated into federal agency programs as a means to assist agencies in achieving their missions and objectives. They list departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Treasury, Justice and Labor as well as the Social Security Administration and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as agencies that they have worked with to “advance policy and program goals.”

    “When behavioral insights—research findings from behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them—are brought into policy, the returns are significant,” the SBST report states.


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    Behavioral Science, Freedom of Information Act, Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, Judicial Watch, Barack Obama
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