|BY DR. JACK WHEELER
AND THE ZEK'S ANT
THE LEARNED HELPLESSNESS THEORY OF HISTORY
In his masterwork, The Gulag Ambipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells a story about a
Zek, a prisoner in the Gulag, who finds an ant in the bottom of his teacup. The Zek
notices that the ant is trying to crawl out, so the Zek gently Pushes the ant back down to
the bottom. The ant tries to crawl out again, and again the Zek pushes him down. After the
third try, the Zek begins to count. One hundred eighty-two times the ant tries to crawl
Out. One hundred eighty-two times the Zek carefully pushes him back down. There is
no Try # 183, The ant simply huddles at the bottom, Occasionally wandering around,
but never again does it try to escape The Zek can go away for a while and come back to
find the ant still there. It has given Up any attempt to be free.
Solzhenitsyn saw the ant as a
metaphor for the Russian people. They had tried and tried and tried to liberate themselves
from Communist tyranny, only to find themselves pushed down into Gulags and mass
slaughters so many times that they, like the ant, had given up. The Soviet Union was like
a giant teacup, where its inhabitants huddled at the bottom and passively accepted the
rule Of their Marxist overlord.
I mentioned this
story once to Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. It was back in the 80's when I was spending
much of my time developing the "Reagan Doctrine" of US Support for anti-Soviet
freedom fighters This entailed my periodically venturing forth into Afghanistan with the
Mujahaddin, Nicaragua With the Contras, and other Soviet colonies. Whenever I returned
home to California, I would go visit two of my dearest friends, Durk & Sandy, who
loved to be regaled by my adventures with the freedom fighters, but would also invariably provide a number of astounding
insights on what I had experienced and how it fit into the overall geopolitical picture.
It was 1988, the last year of Ronald
Reagan's presidency. The Reagan Doctrine strategy was going well, The Soviets were on the
run in Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe was starting to burst open. The goal, however, wasn't simply to divest the
Soviet Union of its, external or "outer" colonies. The ultimate goal of the
Reagan Doctrine was to break apart the Soviet Union itself. We looked upon the USSR as a
colonial empire within its own borders. Only when these "inner" colonies like
the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia, and others were independent would the Soviet Union cease to
exist and the Cold War be won. "The big question in our minds right now," I told
Durk & Sandy, "is Russia. The Soviet Union is really a Russian colonial empire
with Marxis communism as its ideological Justification. Most of the Soviet elite are
ethnic Russian. Yet the average Russian has been butchered and oppressed the same as the
Ukrainian or Lithuanian. SO figuring out the Cold War end game for Russia itself is
That's when I told Durk & Sandy the
story of Solzlicnitsyn's ant. They both smiled and looked knowingly at one another. "That's no metaphor, Jack,"
Sandy observed "Right," Durk followed "Solzhenitsyn is more sccurate than
he knows. His Zek's ant and his Russian people are suffering from the same neurochemical
disaster in their brains."
"Very early on,
hundreds of millions of years ago," they explained, "evolution selected for a
basic set of chemicals to transmit messages from neuron to neuron in the central nervous
system. Everything any animal
with a central nervous system does every movement, every reaction to a perception, is
performed with these neurochemicals. Without them, messages don't get sent from one brain
cell to another and things don't work right. This applies to an ant, an elephant, up the
evolutionary ladder to a human being.
"One of these
neurochemicals is noradrenaline, the brain's version of adrenaline. It's any animal's
'go-juice,' enabling it to be alert for danger, have the drive to hunt for food, light to
defend itself, or in the case of
human beings work up the ladder to success in the workplace. If, for some reason, an
animal's brain lacks noradrenaline it can't adequately do these survival activities. An
interesting example of this is the phenomenon of 'learned helplessness.'
have been done with lab rats, placing them in a cage with an electric grid on the bottom.
At random intervals the rat's feet get a mild shock, similar to a shock of static
electricity we get from touching a door handle after walking over a plush carpet. The rat
freaks out over this and tries
to escape but it is trapped in the cage. After repeated attempts, the rat gives up. No
matter how much the experimenter continues to shock it, the rat will just lie there and
take it and here is the important point even if the door to the cage is opened and the rat
can clearly see it can now escape it will stay and be shocked. It has learned to be
helpless and will no longer try to be free, even when it can easily and obviously do so.
When the experimenter then kills the rat and does a chemical analysis of' its brain, he
discovers the dramatic depletion of noradrenaline. The animal's brain has 'learned' not to
produce more noradrenaline, and thus has 'learned' to be helpless.
of learned helplessness occurs in human beings just as it does in animals, and has the same neurohemical cause: inadequate
noradrenaline production. So what is actually going on in the brain of the Zek's ant and
in the brains of' Russians who have given up their desire to be free, is neurochemically
identical Solzhcnitsyn is right,"
Trying to avoid
mind-pictures (If rat brains ground up into paste for analysis I asked, "But surely they didn't I kill all the
rats. Didn't the lab try to figure out some way to re-ignite noradrenaline production In
learned helpless rats and then what happened?"
Durk & Sandy
exploded in laughter "They
Sure did! And that's when it starts to get interesting! It turns out," they explained
that if you give a learned helpless animal the right combination of nutrients and
administer them in the right way, the animal's brain Will be able to use them to
synthethesize additional noradrenaline. -The 'lab guys' as you call them, did just this,
and sure enough, once those rats had plenty of noradrenaline surging through their
synapses again they all jumped out of that open cage door real fast!"
Amidst all the mirth,
I couldn't help asking,
"Wait a minute - are You saying that a bunch of vitamins and stuff Can cure the
psycological condition of learned helplessness?"
"You're darned right they
can," Durk replied. "Sandy and I have been studying these experiments and others
like them for a long time How do you
think an animal's brain makes the chemicals it needs in the first place? It takes what we
- In the case of noradrenaline the amino acids basic constituents Of proteins
L-phertylalaninc or tyrosine
- anti certain other co-factor nutrients to convert them into neurotransinitters The
metabolic pathways the brain uses to do this are quite well known now, and are the same
whether you are an ant, a rat, or a man. So you can feed them a learned helpless animal
thew precursors and it will stop feeling helpless - or you can feed them to all animal
before the experiment and it becomes far more resistant to and won't give Up trying to
"How Could we do that for
Russians?" I asked them.
Durk and Sandv
shrugged. "Well, Russians call take care of themselves," Sandv responded.
"Frankly, Durk 311LI I ire more interested ill helping Americans
They're (It(.- ones
we have to live among The fewer helpless Americans there are ill(: three Will lie the
country where we live "
How are you going to help them?"
"By creating certain formulas
specifically designed to improve noradrenaline production in a person's brain, and having
them commercially available through Our licensees, such as Will Block."
And that's why
Will's company carries Blast,- Fast Blast;" Blast Caps,- Rise & Shine."
and Ascend 'n See" in the Life Enhancement catalog today. Sad to say,
Americans need these formula la% mitre than ever. The Berlin Wall has fallen, the Soviet
Union has vanished and the Cold War ha% been won, yet America is steadily losing freedom
rather than gaining more. The cancer of politically correct rule% (for, among others the
nutritional supplements market) and criminal penalties for violating them con. tinues to
metastasize through Amarican life. The carcinogens arc a malignant array of facist federal
bureaucracies, like the IRS, the EPA (Environmental Pro section Agency), the FDA, ant: the
EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) designed and rationalized by
politicians whose purpose is to make People dependent upon them. People who arc dependant
on YOU ire people who vote for you and look the other way, no matter what crimes you
America is indeed a
democracy However, democracy does not equal freedom but is merely on of the preconditions
for it. It quite concievable to have democratic form of' tyranny upon a citizenry, not be
11 dictator who seized power be but by freely elected Ica( cis Remember at Adolf I-lit],
was voted into power with over ,So'!',, of the Vote. Ill fact, this the direction towards
whit: America has been moving for some time. And the particular type of tyranny is not
socialist or comminist -- it is fascist.
A socialist or communist
government is one which outright owns all major business systems the airlines, banks,
phone companies, et al. A fascist government does not nationalize ownership (and accept
resultant responsibility) but instead control,; private business completely through
extreme bureaucratic regulation. Just as a socialist government can be an unelected
dictatorship like ( Cuba )i.1 freely democracy like
Sweeden, so can a facist government Democratic facism, or a facist democracy is no more an
morondemocracy than democratic socialism or a socialist democracy instead democratic
fascism is the most accurate description of what America's political system has
become 'I The freedoms guaranteed by the I Declaration of Independence and the
Constitution have not been taken away by dictators for(:(:, bolt arc being voluntarily
Reflecting on this the other day, I gave Durk and Sandy a call "Do you guys think
that learned helplessness call be self- induced My question "';Lire," came
explains 3 lot about bureaocrats arc taking over lives Learned helplessness not having the
confidence you can do something oil your Own to make things better So many Americans have
their hand out in sonic way and demand a guarantco: of -the outcome they want rather than
accept responsibility for how their life turns out This fascism that you're talking about
Jack is the political consequence of self-induced learned helplessness
Sandy continued, I think
that as a whole, women in general tend to vote for people who promise to take care of them
They seem to have an assumption of helplessness that may lie in a genetic tendency to
produce less or be less sensitive to nonadrenaline line. for example, look at the
Republicans problems with the so. called 'soccer moms who arc upset that government
programs may be taken away. They are unwilling to say, I can handle ill),situation and
don't need sonic government handout Just look around - how many women do you see fighting
the system and truly politically incorrect',, We need a lot more women like Margaret
Thatcher or congresswonem like Helen Chenoweth (R) but unfortunately, they are rare.
"How do we get
them?" I inquired "Actually we need a lot more men like Margaret Thatcher too
came Sandy's reply, "we're happy I(- see that the Li fe Enhancement family is
embarking oil a concentrated retail effort it) make Mir noradrenaline lieprecursor more
widely available The biochemical route is much and easier to emplement (11,111 ',lie
behavioral route. You Call induce a behavioral change (like overcoming or being more
resistant to learned biochemically (like giving
The brain "lit- nutrient
precursors make noradrenaline But getting tong to their behavior that is, to less
heplessly which Will ill time in increased noradrenaline production is
much tougher. As more 7,nd more people use Blast, Fast Blast, Blast Caps, Rise &
Shine, a and and Ascend 'n See, we think the mor eresistant to) authority and
"learned" they %%.Ill become The more assertive and sell confident they'll be
and more preserving in pursuit of 11 goal.""So the American alit Call
stoppushing himself or down it) the bottom of the lSkC.1
"Exactly," Durk answered.
"Too many, Americans are trapped behind many a Berlin Wall of their own making. With
Our formulas which are available through Life Enhancement Products, they can break down
their personal Berlin Wall and liberate themselves from nutritional imbalances and
deficiencies that cause helplessness."
self-induced learned helplessness to self-liberation ... it's what we want for America " Sandy
It's What I want too./