Without question, the mind of modern-day mankind is under devastating assault. We will continue to briefly investigate some of these tactics in order to document our claim. The attacks and incursions upon the human mind are increasing as likely never before. Moreover, a global communications machinery has rapidly taken form that will play a pivotal role in enabling the Antichrist and the Beast to deceive the world with the voice of one ventriloquist.
We continue with a review of developments that serve to “jam” the bandwidth of people’s minds today.
- Amusement and Media Share. Just how much media (TV, radio, etc.) does the average person consume in North America? When we first researched this topic nearly 20 years ago, the average person in North America was watching and listening to media 3,491 hours a year, or approximately nine and one-half hours per day (2000).1 This would include the use of personal computers, multimedia devices, video games, radios, DVDs, DVRs and TVs.
If one assumes that the average person sleeps 8 hours each day, this statistic suggested that as much as a staggering 60% of a person’s waking hours were being jammed with “share of mind” products. We were also aghast to discover the rapidity of this invasion. Another study of that time measured the hours spent upon television, cable networks, internet, recorded music and movie theatres in 2002, concluding that media consumption of these categories had risen 30% since 1977.2
That was then. What about today? Enter the smartphone and other media devices. Consumption has continued to increase markedly. According to eMarketer, in 2010, the average American adult consumed media 10 hours and 26 minutes per day (up 9% from 2000). The most recent survey for 2018 by eMarketer shows consumption rising even further, to 12 hours and 8 minutes per day! What would be the consequence of 75% of one’s waking hours being taken up with media of some type? In fact, according to a recent survey,3 45% of teens say that they are online almost constantly (this estimated to be double the time of 3 years ago).
It would not be an inappropriate generalization to conclude that most of the time being spent in media consumption is focused upon trivial pursuits and entertainment. Of course, one can use media for very worthwhile purposes… study, communications utility… yes, watching sermons and even some wholesome entertainment can be of value, too. But with so much distraction, most of it with questionable content, what room is there for applying our minds to the important things of life…our purpose…worshiping…studying Scripture?
This explosion of media consumption has its parallel trend in financial markets. The stocks of media companies and those offering internet services (including smartphones) have boomed in value. The so-called FANG stocks, an acronym for just four high-performing technology stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, now Alphabet, Inc.) have risen to some $2 trillion in value and near 50% of the value of the S&P 500.
What does this frenzied boom in mind-jamming services signify (with the possible exception of Amazon, although even they have their own media-streaming services)? Why should 75% mindshare of people’s waking hours be required? Is it accidental… coincidental? Does it align with prophecy?
- News & Information Content. We all rely on information as we form opinions and decide matters of truth. But opinions and truth are dependent on the source of information. The vast majority of people rely upon the mass media for their news information—the same large media behemoths mentioned earlier, as well as independent digital providers.
Today, despite the many new technologies and media devices, Americans still get most of their news from television. According to a recent poll, 57% of American adults get their news primarily from TV.4 Likely, younger generations will favor digital sources.
But what of the quality of the news? Actually, what is identified as popular news programming today amounts to little more than entertainment. The newscasters tend to be aesthetically pleasing with movie-star good-looks and makeup. Much news content is pure trivia, Hollywood output, and updates on the rich and famous. Real news that affects the heart and souls of mankind—past, present and future—receives scant mention.
As well, balanced international news continues to shrink from the public domain, even during these times of increasing geopolitical tension and anti-terrorism activities. What international news does catch the eye of mass media channels is either superficial or selected for its entertainment or propaganda value.
The result is that the average person’s mind is bombarded with entertaining images and populist messages. With that kind of informational diet, the mind loses its alertness; its ability to discern truth from fiction; to see and recognize the signs of the times.
“So let us not be like the others, but let us be alert and self-controlled” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-7). Fewer and fewer people today have the ability to test and approve what God’s will and plans are. Moreover, Jesus Christ counseled His followers to be alert and to watch. How many find the time and focus to do so today?
- Booming Advertising Exposure. It is estimated that the average American is subjected to some 4,000 advertising messages every day. It may be less, or more. Another survey estimated this figure to be 6,000. Whatever, it remains the case, as one writer puts it, that “The entire system is saturated by a hyper-commercialism, a veritable commercial carpet-bombing of every aspect of human life.”5
Quoting liberally from an article carried in Business Journal,6 here are a few indicative statistics about some sources of advertising:
- TV news: According to MediaPost, in 2013, the average TV channel carried 48 ads per hour.
- Drive-time radio: On average, American commuters drive about 15 miles each way daily, for a total of about 46 minutes. Commercials amounted to about 20 per hour.
- TV dramas/reality TV: According to Quora, programming runs 41 to 48 minutes on network TV. This translates to about 15 minutes of commercials per hour.
- Surfing the internet: According to a Huffington Post article, the average internet user gets 11,150 ads per month.
We have only covered a smattering of ad sources. Without a doubt, advertisers are competing for our attention, in the process jamming our mindshare.
Increasingly, as well, advertisers try to link their products with “values.” This advertising is so effective that a simple logo eventually carries a sophisticated meaning. Youth culture is particularly adept at this type of sign language. By wearing a certain brand-name t-shirt, they demonstrate membership in a specific clique or show that they identify with a certain worldview.
The culture of advertising is also a recent phenomenon. While advertising has been around since the dawn of time, it is only following World War II that the hyper-consumerist culture began in America. Advertising spending per person in the US since the late 1940s (measured in 2007 dollars) has risen more than 6 times.
Clearly, the cares of this world have become the focus of most people. Like the pagans, many allow their minds to be concerned with material things. Christ said that we shouldn’t allow our minds to dwell on such matters. “What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33).
Christ warned that in the last days we should, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap” (Luke 21:34). Instead, as Apostle Paul says in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Thoughts to Ponder: The Endtime Mind Jam
We have surveyed only some of the major endtime avenues of assault upon our minds. We could also document the rise in the use of a host of mind-altering drugs—from antidepressants to recreational and abusive substances. Increasingly, psychotropic substances such as marijuana are being legalized. Depression has become a global epidemic according to the World Health Organization. This condition can severely distort the mind.
We could also document the rise in false religions and cults that are snatching people’s minds. This last phenomenon is expressly prophesied in Scripture. In the endtimes, many false Christs will come. “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them” (Luke 21:8).
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matthew 24:24-25). The claims of false Christs will take up “share of mind” as never before. Indeed, this is happening today.
Having reviewed the rapid and catastrophic “mind jamming” trends of the past half-century, we again ask: Is it accidental… coincidental? Does it align with prophecy? To that we answer: It cannot be coincidental. These trends are the handmaidens to a lost and rebellious world. These are yet another clear sign of the season of our times… the impending return of our Lord.
What “share of mind” does our Lord encourage? Numerous Scriptures leave no doubt that Jesus Christ should possess our total being. God’s truth and presence should dominate our mind.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). This does not mean that every waking minute is spent in devotion, but rather that the essence and objective of one’s mind is the relationship with our Lord and Savior. Another verse upholding this essence is found in Psalm 119:97: “Oh, how I love your law! I mediate on it all day long.”
But, this is not possible today… not when 75% of waking hours are jammed with media of some type. Sadly, all of us living in the super-charged media and commercialized culture of our time struggle in attaining the type of devotion that Scripture upholds.
Apostle Paul was already worried about this type of assault upon the minds of Christians 2,000 years ago. He said, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Yes, Paul may not have understood the “somehow.” But today, we do recognize the devices and means that are being employed to lead our minds astray.
What can we do? Who can fully escape from the pagan influences of our era? We can acknowledge this encouragement: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2-3). But in our time of a massive, coordinated assault upon the functions of people’s minds, more than acknowledgement is required.
We must also willfully act to govern and guard our minds. The Bible provides much counsel on this task. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:13-16).
“The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Peter 4:7).
About the Author: Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 “Infoporn: Mass Distraction.” Wired, May 2001. Media statistics for 2000.
2 Milken Institute.
3 Pew Research Center, March 7 to April 10, 2018, “Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018.”
4 Pew Research Center, “The Modern News Consumer,” July 7, 2016.
5 “The Global Media Giants; The nine firms that dominate the world.” Robert W. McChesney. http://www.fair.org
6 “Do we really see 4,000 ads a day?” Bryce Sanders, Business Journal, Sep 1, 2017.