Edward Bernays (1928) Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 − March 9, 1995) was a Jewish journalist and media manipulator. Born to Jewish parents in Vienna, Bernays was nephew to Jewish psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. His father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud’s wife Martha Bernays. His mother was Freud’s sister, Anna. In 1892 his family moved to New York City. Using the psychoanalytical beliefs of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious. He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of ‘herd instinct’. The original ‘cancer’ man, it was Bernays who encouraged women to smoke before cigarettes were aimed at the female market.
“…manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized….In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays