Diversity Training: Tales From The Dystopia

mind control

Image: activistpost.com

The technicians carefully positioned the electrodes at specific locations of Ronnie’s freshly shaved head. The adhesive paste was cold like the room and she started to shiver.

It wasn’t just the temperature, though. Ronnie was terrified. She struggled against the straps restraining her to the chair.

“Now Ms. Pierson. This will go easier for you if you don’t resist.” Dr. Williams, head of the University’s Department of Diversity Instruction stood directly in front of Ronnie, her arms crossed. “This really is for your own good as well as for the sake of the other students here at Libra U.”

“When I came in here this morning…I thought you said this was going to be a workshop.” In spite of herself, in spite of not wanting to give in to these bastards, Ronnie was close to tears.

“It’s much more efficient to provide the corrective programming digitally, through direct cognitive induction, rather than have you attend a series of classes.” Williams leaned slightly toward Ronnie. “Externally presented materials can be ignored or minimized. When we introduce the correction electrically, it will become a part of you.”

Mind control. Ronnie had heard rumors, but she didn’t believe them…well, not until now.

She’d heard of students being sent to Diversity Instruction, she’d even met one. Seth, her dorm mate’s boyfriend, attended “the workshop” a couple of months ago after an “incident” in which he sent a tweet saying that he thought that criticism of “white privilege” was way overemphasized on campus.

He received the summons from the DDI backed up by the threat of cancelling all his academic credits for the semester if he failed to comply. So he complied. Seth never quite seemed like himself after the workshop. In fact, he had joined the “Social Justice Witnesses on Campus” (SJWC or sometimes just SJW) club a few days after he attended the workshop, and became one of the most outspoken critics of White Privilege, renouncing his own to the point of practically groveling.

Now that she thought of it, not only Seth, but everyone who had attended “the workshop,” came back with a shaved head. They said that it was one of the exercises in the diversity training, but now Ronnie knew what it really meant.

It was after the shooting of five Dallas police officers by a sniper, someone who claimed affiliation to BLM (although BLM denied this) and how he, in the manifesto found in the shooter’s home the next day, stated that he wanted to “take out” as many white cops as he could in order to save black lives.

Ronnie’s Dad is a retired police officer and the news hit her in a bad way.

She was only twelve when her Dad was shot on duty trying to stop a liquor store hold up. Fortunately, the wound wasn’t serious and Dad’s partner returned fire and kept the shooter from getting off another round.

Dad only spent a couple of weeks back home recovering, and then was put on light duty for another couple of weeks. For the rest of his career, he was never fired upon and never had to draw his service revolver.

But Ronnie would cry herself to sleep at night after her Daddy went to work. “What if he gets shot tonight? What if I never see him again?”

All those years of fear and rage surfaced after the Dallas police shootings. She got on Facebook and ranted about how the lives of cops matter, too and (this is the part that got her in trouble) how #AllLivesMatter (hashtag included).

She was immediately removed from all participation as an officer of the University’s Student Body and placed on a plan of correction including attending a workshop, the same one Seth had attended, at the DDI.

Now she realized that the workshop wasn’t just incredibly effective at disseminating propaganda, it was actually a process of invasively altering a person’s thoughts and emotions, effectively making them a social justice drone.

Ronnie didn’t want to be digitally lobotomized.

In the past, she could have refused and the worst that would have happened to her would be the loss of her position on the Student Body and probably a lot of “hate mail” aimed her way on social media.

But since the Educational Social Justice initiative was passed by Congress last year, universities now had broad powers on how to discipline “disruptive influences” such as Seth and Ronnie. She didn’t think discipline was going to mean forced medical treatments.

“Now just try to relax.” Dr. Williams’ stern attitude had swiftly shifted to one of sugar and sweetness. “It will all be over soon.”

She dropped her smile and nodded to one of the techs who was operating the controls for the device Ronnie was attached to.

“No,” Ronnie whined. She could feel the electrodes heat, then there was a tingling sensation. And then it was like her head exploded.

At first she thought she’d gone blind, but it was whatever they were doing to her brain. Darkness. Flashes of light, sometimes like lightning, and then like lightning bugs. Ronnie didn’t know if the machine triggered one of her migraines or if the pain was part of the process.

“I’ve got to keep control of who I am,” she internally repeated her mantra. She could feel these  alien thoughts being intertwined with her own.

Thoughts and feelings: Race relations. White Privilege. LGBTQ rights. Islamophobia. Antisemitism. Gender inequality. Racial profiling. ‘Harmless’ off-color jokes. Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. School to prison pipelines. Personal responsibility versus institutional oppression. Bias. Prejudice. Discrimination. Aggression. A swirling chaos of concepts and values were consuming her from the inside, like she was prey and they were the predators.

Ronnie had hoped she’d have the will power to resist, but everyone succumbs to torture sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time and how much pain is applied.

A few days later, after Ronnie had recovered from her “workshop,” she got on Facebook and totally renounced her former comments, promising to spread her new, enlightened point of view. The next week, she joined Social Justice Witnesses and was assigned to Seth for orientation and training.

A month later, her migraines got worse again. They were almost unbearable whenever she attended a meeting at Social Justice.

One evening during a meeting at the SJW center, Ronnie’s head felt like it was going to split. Seth was surprisingly kind. “Why don’t you come into one of the offices and lie down on the couch.” Part of her was suspicious. A woman being alone and put in a reclining position by a male student could be perceived as a sexual threat. “I’ll go get you something for your migraine.”

She laid down stiffly on the sofa as Seth left and closed the door behind him. She remembered liking Seth and half-wished her roomie would break up with him so she’d have a chance at him. But since the workshop, she found she was distancing herself, not just from Seth, but from all guys, like they all represented some sort of danger just because they were guys.

Ronnie even caught herself fantasizing about going to bed with girls as a way of expressing herself sexually. But she knew she wasn’t a lesbian. She’d been attracted to guys as far back as fifth or sixth grade. She’d lost count of the number of crushes she’d had on boys on her favorite TV shows growing up.

Ronnie didn’t know how much time passed, but Seth returned with a cup of water and some pills. “Rape drugs!” The thought went off in her head like a flash bulb. The image of the light reminded her of the day she underwent conditioning. What was wrong with her? Seth wouldn’t hurt her, assault her, would he?

Ronnie hesitated, not knowing if she should take the pills.

“Is it beginning to come back to you?” Seth sounded conspiratorial. “The treatment. It wears off. We have to be careful not to let anyone outside of our group know.”

“Treatment?” Ronnie’s headache suddenly got worse, like she was fighting something and something was fighting back.

“These are just ibuprofen.” Seth sat on the floor a few feet away from the sofa. Somehow Ronnie knew that putting himself below her eye level was a way to make her feel safer. “You don’t have to take them if you don’t want to.”

“The treatment. Dr. Williams.” Ronnie was staring into Seth’s eyes, as if only Seth and she knew some terrible secret.

“That’s right, Ronnie. They did something to us. To control our thoughts. To change our personalities.”

It hurt to try remembering, but she had to.

No use. There was too much pain. She gestured to Seth, asking for the ibuprofen and water. Of course it wouldn’t help. She always had to sleep off her migraines.

Seth walked Ronnie back to her dorm. On the way, she felt like she could trust him a little more.

Two days later, they met in a burger place off campus, one that most of the students didn’t frequent. It was Seth’s idea.

“We can’t meet in a place where other students or staff might overhear us. I’m beginning to think even our dorm rooms are bugged.”

That really did sound paranoid to Ronnie, but her head had been clearing since the last time she saw Seth, and as paranoid as listening devices sounded, there was a part of her that had the same fear.

“I remember now.” Ronnie was surprised to hear herself whisper. “I remember Dr. Williams. The electrodes on my head. The pain. The alien thoughts being … programmed into me.”

“Same for me, but we aren’t the only ones.”

“How many others?” Ronnie wanted to know who else shared the secret of their assault.

“Everyone who’s ever been ordered to DDI for the Diversity Workshop. Almost a hundred of us are currently attending L.U. Who knows how many have transferred to other schools, graduated, or dropped out.”

“Do you know who they all are?”

“It’s sort of like being Neo in the ‘Matrix’. We wake up and realize that everything we thought was real was all digital programming and lies.”

“But Seth, Neo was born and raised into that world. We were ourselves in the real world until Dr. Williams and that machine.” Ronnie had visions of strapping Williams into her own chair, pasting electrodes onto her head, and doing some programming of her own.

“What do we do?”

“We lay low for one thing. If anyone figures out the machine’s programming isn’t permanent, they’ll probably put us through it again. Who knows what a second exposure would do to us?” Seth stopped talking when the wait staff brought their order.

After they were served and alone again, Seth continued. “We have to be careful about meeting each other. If we get together in too large a group, the administrators and SJW students will get suspicious. They’ll figure out something went wrong with our training.”

“So we just have to keep acting like we’re still brainwashed?” Ronnie hated that idea. She wanted to tell the whole world what was happening at Libra.

“We have to, at least until we can get out from under admin’s authority.”

“How come the students who graduated or left Libra U. never spoke up?”

“I don’t know. By the time I recovered, none of them were around for me to ask. I didn’t even know them.”

“We’ve got to fight back.”

“Not while we’re still students here, and not while the other victims are still here. We’re all at risk. We have to protect them and ourselves.”

This didn’t sit well with Ronnie, but she understood about protecting other innocents. That had been drilled into her by her Dad since she was little.

“This might not be happening just here, Ronnie. Maybe they’ve got DDI Departments at all the colleges and universities.”

It was a horrifying thought, but if Seth were right, this conspiracy could be nationwide, and fueled by the Federal government.

“The Black Lives Matter movement is fighting back against injustice, real and perceived. BLM face down police, push back against the government, or at least some parts of it. They organized. They’re effective. Why can’t we do the same thing?”

“If there are enough of us to make a difference, too many just to be made to quietly disappear.” Seth stopped and thought for a second. “It might work.”

“Then we have to start planning. Figure out how to make our own movement. Fight back against the established order. Our lives, our minds, our free will matters, too.”

A year later, a series of national protests by the Free Will/Free Speech Movement forced the closure of all of the Departments of Diversity Instruction on every American university. The cognitive coercion equipment was dismantled and dozens of university administrators and doctors were indicted.

This time the people stopped Big Brother and his mind control experiments. This time.

Before anyone starts yelling at me for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement, although this is dystopian science fiction, it’s loosely based on an actual event. No, not mind control as such, but definitely a disproportionate response to a simple incident.

I read a short article written by William Rierson for Campus Reform called UH student govt sanctions VP for saying ‘all lives matter’. Apparently, a University of Houston (UH) student named Rohini Sethi who is also Student body Vice President, ‘posted “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter” on Facebook hours after a gunman killed five police officers at a BLM inspired rally in Dallas, Texas.’

This started a “firestorm of controversy on Facebook and Twitter in the UH community.” The President of the Student Body Shane Smith and the school admins went (in my opinion) berserk and laid all these requirements on Sethi, the consequences for failure to comply would be losing her VP spot on the Student Body (personally, I would have quit in a New York minute, but I don’t know Sethi’s situation).

One of the requirements imposed was to attend a comprehensive workshop at The Libra Project (I’m sure you’re beginning to see where I got my naming scheme for this short story). I copied exactly what they instruct on in the body of my story:

“Race relations. White Privilege. LGBTQ rights. Islamophobia. Antisemitism. Gender inequality. Racial profiling. ‘Harmless’ off-color jokes. Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. School to prison pipelines. Personal responsibility versus institutional oppression. Bias. Prejudice. Discrimination. Aggression.”

All Sethi did was post the hashtagged phrase “AllLivesMatter” in response to the murder of five police officers who were at a peaceful BLM demonstration in Dallas. For that, UH basically threw the diversity, progressive, politically correct book at her, requiring she be trained in proper thought etiquette.

Isn’t George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 required reading anymore? Maybe if it was, the people over at UH would understand that their actions against Sethi cast them in the role of Big Brother, the face of government mind control of the masses.

10 thoughts on “Diversity Training: Tales From The Dystopia

  1. I take it you’ve read 1984. But you kinda freaked out when someone who used to come to your sites said it was clear God/the Bible isn’t in favor of homosexuality. You inexplicably called him anti-Semitic.

    Maybe Sethi would have been okay or not so shocking if she had not said to “forget” black lives matter. Posting “AllLivesMatter” isn’t “all” she did (according to your accounting).

    You maybe have to have been in a long-term abusive situation to know that when the abused person implores the abuser, “I matter.” “We both matter!” is dismissive.

    It’s been a common idea that Republicans want people to read certain books while being told what the books mean. Another example is Animal Farm. But a person with a free mind would likely associate the pigs with Republicans (or the Libertarian Party).

    I also want to share that it used to be a concern that people not be determined as mental cases as easily as it used to happen. But now the NRA has been pushing mental issues as a panacea to any concern over guns or large clips of ammunition. That’s “interesting” I think.

    Yesterday, on a separate note (it wasn’t a political commercial or anything to do with guns), I saw a commercial giving statistics for now as to how many people are “incarcerated” (what’s the terminology… admitted… something else). It also gave a figure of two people per week dying of shock therapy.

    Nevertheless, there does seem to be a common thread of mental deficiency, in the form of abusive habits, that are common among perpetrators of mass shootings. I haven’t looked to see if it was present in all of the largest cases in the last couple of decades. But it seems to usually be something that had been there.


    • Marleen said: “But you kinda freaked out when someone who used to come to your sites said it was clear God/the Bible isn’t in favor of homosexuality. You inexplicably called him anti-Semitic.”

      You’re going to have to point that one out to me, because I don’t rememeber it off the top of my head.

      I feel the University of Houston’s reaction to a single Facebook post is disproportionate to her “crime,” if you will. She was expressing a personal opinion. Anyone is free to disagree with her.

      The only reason UH seems to have leverage over Sethi is that she is the VP of the Student Body. So they can make her jump through whatever hoops they want in terms of indoctrination and social conditioning, assuming she wasn’t to retain her position.

      I’m aware of how the phrase “All Lives Matter” is interpreted, and in principle, I agree, however I also agree that people have the right to express their opinion. Apparently, UH wants people with a certain politically correct mindset to serve on the Student Body, which I suppose they can enforce.

      However, it seems like this kid was just reacting emotionally to the execution of five police officers. UH and the Student Body President could have probably addressed this issue more informally (I’m assuming they didn’t because there’s no indication they did in the news article).

      Universities used to be centers promoting free speech and differing opinions. Now, they are platforms for conformity and do more social engineering than actual education.

      Sethi didn’t abuse anyone. In my opinion, she’s the victim of a relentless power structure that attempts to control not only what their students say, but what they think.

      Yes, I’ve read Orwell’s novel 1984 several times, most recently just a year or two ago.


  2. Since posting my wee bit of fiction, I decided to see if there was any update in the news about Rohini Sethi and the happenings at the University of Houston.

    First, there’s an excellent article at The Washington Post that covers Sethi’s response to student criticism, but the video interviews accompanying the article at ABC 13 Eyewitness News, a local Houston news station, clarified both Sethi’s position and how African-American students are responding.

    Sethi could potentially still be impeached, but it looks like it would take an enormous effort based on how the process is described. Sethi feels she’s clarified her position, but not everyone agrees that she feels proper remorse.

    She also still wants to be VP on the Student Body and believes she can adequately represent all students.

    It looks like, that being the case, she’ll need to submit to the sanctions and requirements imposed by UH Student Body President Shane Smith, including a three-day diversity workshop, in order to have said-sanctions lifted.

    This has really made the national news circuit, both mainstream news outlets and conservative news sites and blogs.

    The whole issue hinges on the student body’s confidence in Sethi to represent their interests relative to her original Facebook post (which as since been removed). I think they’re looking to see her come out of the workshop as more contrite, remorseful, and enlightened in order to believe she is on board with what’s important to the students at UH.


  3. So, she posted a video saying BLM doesn’t have enough clarity of leadership — as a formal entity, while the mothers who starting saying the words apparently aren’t trying to be a formal controlling force.

    That’s part of her follow-up. She might be right, in a sense that these women who have suffered aren’t controlling messaging as if they are responsible for everything everyone does. They mourn.


    • I’m sure her position isn’t going to be satisfying to everyone, and I’m not attempting to serve as her advocate. I simply maintain that in my opinion, UH’s reaction to her original Facebook post is pretty much over the top.


  4. I think they could have her go to the training without suspending her vice presidency, given that she doesn’t seem very stubborn or purposefully provocative. Of course, we’re looking from a distance.


    • Maybe they felt that suspending her was an incentive for her to comply with their requirements. That said, I agree, we don’t know all the facts. Just what we read in the news.


  5. Because of what I said about Animal Farm and the Libertarian Party, I want to [almost leaving Republicans aside for now] share a video clip as well as to say the Libertarian “Town Hall” on CNN, last night, was worth seeing (in my opinion). Given what we have to choose from on the main party tickets, these particular candidates are not out of the question. I would not want to vote for the usual party line [although I was a county party chair for a short while in the nineties when I was naive enough to be sort of a tea partier before the tea party].

    This would be illustrated in part by a question asked near the end, concerning the fact a big trend with members is to be in favor of legalizing prostitution (or sex work, they call it — problematic given a lot of “conservative” types think women are like prostitutes anyway). But Bill Weld (VP candidate) said prostitution isn’t victimless, “you just don’t see the crime when it happens.” Gary Johnson talked about diseases (a little bit stupidly it seemed to me) and it being a state’s jurisdiction (while he stated he would never want to take part in the service).

    Bill Weld also said we have a crisis with what is happening in black lives, and government has to address that… “Libertarian or not.” Gary Johnson said he realizes his head has been in the sand. These are both governors who were re-elected. And Bill Weld seems to have had significant further relevant experience.

    The first 7:40 minutes of this is more representative of the party (rather than the candidate), and the individual is clearly enamoured of big business interests (which is consistent with the philosophy) — thus the brand is not a long-term solution in the realm of “fixable” options for what has been going wrong for decades.


    • I generally prefer text to video since I can read faster than people can talk, but I agree both that the Libertarian candidates are a viable option and that prostitution is not a victimless crime. Many of the women involved were pulled in at a very early age and coerced by a procurer, addicted to drugs, and then trapped in the industry.

      From a libertarian view, if a woman chose to offer her “services” for pay of her own free will, and a man chose to pay her for said-services, it’s not the government’s problem. That’s what a lot of conservatives won’t agree to, of course, and it assumes a victimless model, but as I’ve just said, how prostitution works as an industry is not victimless.

      Frankly, the only way I see to break the cycle of political/corporate corruption inherent in our two party system (short of armed insurrection) is to vote a third party into office, both as POTUS and in Congress. Basically, it’s like throwing a monkey wrench into a machine. Then, if the Dems and the GOP want to compete, they’ll have to run more honest campaigns and actually serve the American people instead of the corporations. Of course, this assumes the corporations won’t be able to buy off the Libertarians, and, being all too human, I suspect once they become a major player (this is all assumptive on my part), they will be bought off and integrated into “the system,” going where the money goes.

      But I think we’re getting a little far afield from the original topic, Marleen.


  6. It is a bit far afield in a way, except for considering the meanings in these books. And while my experience is people are told by “educational” efforts (sometimes the tax deductible sort of political organizations) to interpret them to mean a certain thing (such as that good people vote their way — and that way is Republican), it’s a bit like being given a script… whereas, if you instead think through what is happening in real life, you’re likely to come up with a different understanding from what they’re telling you to think about the stories you read (which is ironic).

    I’m using a general “you” — not disagreeing with what you, the individual you, just said about shaking things up. It’s frustrating that I feel I have to vote for a [third] party that doesn’t stand for my views overall because the other options (of particular people at the heads of the other tickets) are so bad. But the two guys on that ticket seem decent and honest at least.

    As for videos… when it’s real life source material especially, I like videos because you see the actual person and how they inflect and engage with what they say and encounter, how they interact. You’re actually getting more information than the words alone (or some people are, some aren’t, as some don’t seem to be able to discern words either anyway). Certainly, though, sometimes transcripts are helpful.

    On that video, the one I linked to, one can see the [third] party is actively courting big money. In fact, I think it is that party’s influence (the philosophy) that has largely made Republicans into money lovers (as they have been influenced by the importation of that party’s goals)… the philosophy, yet morphed sickeningly along with some notion of being Christian.


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