"All warfare is based on deception," wrote Chinese General Sun Tzu in The Art of War more than twenty-five hundred years ago. He goes on to say that "supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistence without fighting."
Inducing stress, anxiety, fear and terror in a population is a strategy of psychological warfare. Thinking and behavior can be altered when people are subjected to intense and prolonged stress.
"In states of human fear and excitement the most wildly improbable suggestions can be accepted by apparently sensible people,"
wrote British psychiatrist Dr. William Sargant in his 1957 book Battle for the Mind, which examines the psychology of religious conversion and political brain-washing.
He concludes: "The politico-religious struggle for the mind of man may well be won by whoever becomes most conversant with the normal and abnormal functions of the brain, and is readiest to make use of the knowledge gained."