A Virus Called Fear

A Virus Called Fear

2012, Psychology  -   124 Comments
Ratings: 7.00/10 from 408 users.

Rational fear can be a valuable cerebral response. It can protect us from harm, and render a positive influence on some of our most consequential decisions. But it can also be used as a weapon, and strangle our ability to interpret the world around us from a clear perspective. By understanding fear, however, we can empower ourselves to use it to our advantage and avoid falling under its potentially destructive spell.

Throughout its far too brief twenty minute running time, the documentary A Virus Called Fear seeks to reach this understanding with mixed results.

It's a huge subject to cram into such a short window, but the film benefits from a series of illuminating insights presented by several noted psychologists, as well as acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. These interview subjects tackle the fundamental questions behind the existence of fear and our responses to it.

Are we born with fear? Or is it a mechanism we develop over time based on our experiences? There's no doubt that a healthy amount of fear is essential in sharpening our survival instincts, but it can also lead to unfounded paranoia, irrational superstitions and a destructive us-versus-them mindset.

The film races through the early and influential behavioral studies of Dr. John Watson and Dr. B.F. Skinner. Their observations on the nature of fear continue to resonate today, and have defined our understanding of everything from child rearing techniques to the balance between risks and rewards. We're also given fleeting examples throughout history where the fears of many have been manipulated to advance the interests of the few. These include the skewed and sensationalized barrage of 24-hour media, the deceptive comforts of religion, the scourge of schoolyard bullying, and the horrifically effective powers of leaders like Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson and Jim Jones.

How do we work to overcome our fears, and relearn the behaviors which have conspired to limit our potential? These are the investigative strands that are most sadly absent from the film. A Virus Called Fear is polished and precise in its presentation, but it lacks the breadth that is clearly required of its fascinating and complicated themes.

Directed by: Ben Fama Jr.

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124 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I hated the woman who kept talking about abuse and violence being perpetuated by men only when women are just, may be more abusive, towards children when these problems begin! Warped world view


    1. Exactly.

    2. Fear has been used on us by all with sinister agendas , for sure it can change our behaviour to that of the desired result . Many will fall under this spell , however, also those who are able to use critical thinking , will not be fooled by any of it and can recognise the consequences of it`s effect . As the saying goes, you can fool people sometimes, but you cannot fool people all of the time .

  3. It seems there is a corollary or opposite to "irrational fear" which is "irrational acceptance" of things which are not proven or have already been disproved but apparently not widely known.

    The lefties would jump all over in agreement with that and point to religion. Not so fast. In this day and age, I fear those who "irrationally accept" false and questionable information (major media, govt, and "scientific" propaganda) more than most things because they are allowed to vote my life into a living hell. All an overly religious person can do is either cause my to plug my ears ...or kill me. Which is worse, living under the thumb and dictates of some elitist forcing me to live how THEY think is best or to be put out of the incremental socialist misery I now live under which is most of the way to that socialist utopia already? Yet the Socialist sympathizers cannot see that fact that they are hating on what they want more of.

    Here is your answer: Many people risk there lives to get away from such regimes in boats and smuggling. Yet you want such a regime. Brilliant.

    Information from ANY source is or should be suspect. Unfortunately far too many put an exception to that for "evidence". So if a so called educated person provides evidence along with what they claim, then far too many people tend to believe the claims. Yet how good is the evidence? Laboratories used by Prosecutors have been found to fake the evidence. Global warming scientists were found to have pencil whipped the data. Scientists often just leave out data which doesn't agree with what they want to claim and publish. Meaning those who believe the claims are doing so ON FAITH, actually worse, they choose to believe proven LIES, while ridiculing a religious person's FAITH in what they believe. Hypocrites aplenty. Arrogant to boot.

    The promoters of Socialism and Progressivism are taught to lie, lie, lie or their policies will be rejected. They are told by Alinsky and Marx writings that if they tell the truth the masses would never go for it. And rightly so! Socialists prefer to believe lies because of what they will gain: "free stuff" at someone else's expense. Basically robbing people via the govt. And for that they "irrationally believe" they hold the moral high ground. Laughable at best.

    It seems Dawkins has a cult following of a fair percentage of the viewers of this website. However, it gives one hope for the world that at least a few can see that he sucked up an irrational fear of religion from his professors. He has no actual evidence for much of his claims and/or extrapolates what little evidence he has into oblivion. And people still listen ...because they prefer propaganda while arrogantly calling everyone else morons.

    SELFISHNESS and EGO are the things humans should fear besides the things which can kill or injure them. Selfishness and Ego are the things which cause all the problems of the world. The lefties have it in spades while believing in their hearts that those who only want to be left alone but have been forced to stand up to conserve what little is left of the good things are evil. "Irrational acceptance" of Marxist propaganda is to be feared.

    Please study the RESULTS of Marxism before you buy into what the professors and media pump into you constantly. They wouldn't need to push it if it were evident and true. Same as a drug pusher. Irrational acceptance of propaganda is to be feared and definitely not an irrational fear.

  4. You should only fear things which are dangerous. That's what fear is for.
    It has worked fantastically well to keep people away from trouble for probably millions of years. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

  5. Wow, what a terrible 'film' it's quite obvious he's a student filmmaker, I just hope he's improved since churning out this cliche ridden hack job.

  6. 'there is nothing fear' 'but fear itself' 'earlier proverb'

  7. I found your descriptions and opinions of religion disturbing and without knowledge of theology. Your blanket comments show your lack of knowledge and your prejudice of God. Due to these 2 factors, you need to limit your comments to what you know as I do believe this was to be a documentary with truth.

  8. This is a very interesting video. Fear is something that is innate in all of us, because we are born with the amygdala which processes the information we are in-taking from our external world. The stimulation will either trigger a fear response based off of a past experience which associated and compartmented danger and fear to whatever situation or stimulus that is. This is very helpful because the anti-virus is really looking back and reflecting on our experiences and asking ourselves questions like why do we have a phobia of this or dislike that, the learned behavior that is not suiting ones life can then be turned into something that is positive.

  9. Comment on various above comments: Keep in mind, had the fellow in the mall shooting incident collected up the babies left by the loveless, it is a rational concern that those of irrational fear and minds over ridden by emotion and/or ego, would have very likely seen to it such a conscientious type be put in jail. Don't think so? How does one defend one's self from suppositions? You were planning to do horrible things or sell them weren't you? Prisons have plenty of considerate dads put there by selfish moms who want them out of the picture. I personally know of two. If you think they must be guilty because in prison, you would be sorely mistaken. The court system in usa and uk and likely others is as corrupt as Marxism is intellectually bankrupt (you cannot help people be all they can be by a govt agency picking the winners and losers via tests or cronyism, nor enslaving them to do the work you desire to have done; you cannot motivate people to be productive by stealing that productivity and giving it to the unproductive, which guarantees the system to fail eventually; ask why communists(the stated goal of socialism per Lenin) don't allow all their people to leave if they want to seek a better life elsewhere).

    Love? Keep in mind that the englitch language failed miserably in not providing more words for the distinctly different concepts and aspects all wrongly grouped under one single word: love.

    Compare: Agape, Phileo, Infatuation, Sex. Each are different things. Why refer to them all as "love"? Maybe there are more and better definitions in some other languages.

    All I can reco to someone wanting to make a point about "the power of love" (which without any more detail than those 4 words ...also could be construed as the power to manipulate) versus hate or fear, may want to add some other definitions to that so the readers who have never experienced it or had it trained out of them, can understand, at least a little better.

    Although it is technically true that a poet or songwriter may write a sorrow or complaint after a battle has been lost. The poem or writing can also arouse people to victory in the future or to remind of a valuable lesson.

    In Dune, it was insightful that without change a person may get stuck in a rut. However, change for the sake of change is not always a good thing, as evidenced by the Duke and his concubine kinder witch mother to his son. It seemed to me that his "change" was that looking for more power and it cost him. No need to move lock, stock, and all the barrels to a new planet. Just follow the adventures of his scout and those commissioned after, like special forces to assist the freedom fighters. Or gain like minds all around to the point there is no point for the weasels to resist changing to a new decent paradigm. (No doubt that is what the marxists, socialists, communists, progressives, fascists, corporatists, etc. are trying to do, however, it should not be necessary to lie if it were moving to a good thing. Any of those, if they have actually studied it, know that it must be lied about or it will never happen. One could make the case in this day and age that people prefer to be lied to or they would turn off the boob tube.)

  10. i too was afraid of the boogie man as child now as time went on this fear diminished. but alas i too am still have fear of spider crawlers

  11. that poor watson kid

  12. Scary to think, that in most cases fear is actually taught.

  13. Outdated y boring.

  14. Appearances by the pompous Dawkins (he is the real God in case you didn't know), cruel experiments with rats and babies (great, let's traumatize infants deliberately), pigeons taught parlor tricks by the warm-hearted behavioralist Skinner...Geez, I thought I'd get away with no Halloween this year but apparently not.

    1. Have to make sacrifices for hypothesis testing! But, yeah a lot of experiments in psychology are so unethical :(

  15. Totally boring and superficial documentary. It almost looked like those people only delighted in "listening to themselves speak". Moving on.

    1. Agreed. Lots of Big Egos here. Hope they're happy.

    2. Well said.... What a load of bla bla bla... **** we all know, but what was the actual conclusion?

      I think I was so offended, they compared Wako with Jones Town Massacre, that I mist the end.

      Never forget Wako. Innocent men, women and children were murdered by the american government and military and it was covered up.

      Those same pieces of **** who covered it up are in power now.

      Shame on the doco maker for making such a stupid, misinformed comparison.

  16. A decent primer for anyone who is new to the subject. If I'd seen this when I was in high school, I think it would have inspired me to learn more about it.

  17. This is a sloppy and inaccurate documentary. To glibly reduce the Jonestown massacre to "909 people commit suicide" just to make a point about fear driven behavior is lazy. At least 100 of that 909 were children below the age of reason (7) who could not have known what was happening. Close to another 200 were below the age of 18. The Guyanese coroner observed numerous gunshot wounds and syringe marks, suggesting those who resisted were forcibly injected or just shot. The notorious death tapes clearly show people resisted. Jones' own wife fought viciously to stop the children from being poisoned and only "drank the kool-aid" after she had failed to save them. Even the people who drank the poisoned punch without much resistance knew the alternative was to die at the hands of the armed guards as there was literally no where to run. The massacre wasn't even discovered until days later because the location of Jonestown was purposefully remote to prevent defection. I understand the nuances of such a brutal occurrence cannot be fully honored in a short form doc, but what was even the point of bringing up Jonestown? Or Waco or Heaven's Gate, for that matter. It gave nothing to the larger thesis and has only made me question the accuracy of assertions made in the rest of the film.

    Not worth the 20 minutes. Never trust a documentarian who spends the first few minutes mugging for the camera and patting themselves on the back for making the film in the first place (unless it's Werner Herzog. He owns that shit.).

    1. This is a documentary that has to describe an emotion from start to finish, with only 20 minutes to do so.. don't you think you're being a bit harsh about how "superficial" it is? not to mention its meant for EVERYONE to watch, not just psychology nerds..

  18. Indeed, a superficial documentary, which never really goes beyond the bleeding obvious. Biologists speculating on psychology using ideas that were already considered superficial 100 year ago...

  19. I think this documentary is very superficial and quite biased, I see there were some good issues pointed out already in the comments, but I'd like to add that in order to at least try to understand a particular topic, especially one so complex, you shoud reach beyond your inclinations or theories and keep an objective and open mind. You might find great insight through researching different fields or even the ''preposterous'' ideas. You cannot simply look for facts and opinions that support your beliefs, It is not the way of progress.

  20. I used to have a fear dead things, animals, people etc. I took over it by forcing myself to look at them in all states of decay. I would try to figure what all the body parts and organs were. It was for survival. I had to walk for miles each day for work and there dead animals along the roadside regularly I could not avoid. It worked. Just face your fears.

  21. great Ben!! Not many people think about this at such an intellectual and deep level. Some would avoid it unconsciously because it would mean having to reconstruct their entire life. A task beyond asking of anyone??
    I loved it and in my opinion it is spot on.

  22. fear of government is a correct fear. programming people with an anti-fear, seems very similar to brave new world scenario.

  23. nothing new.. very superficial

  24. The audio of this was so poorly mixed. Seriously, I watched that whole thing, all I took from it was that someone decided the audio for this documentary was not important.

  25. I find it rather annoying that some people consistently have to turn the subject of fear into anti-religious and anti-media propaganda. There was very little valuable information one could extract from this video and at no point was there any proper reference to all the computing analogies they made in their very tantalising sounding titles. That ignorance causes fear is certainly true, but it is an illusion to think that fear goes away if we just start to inform ourselves about things. Some things are really terrible and knowing the ins and outs of them won't chase away the fear.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, I couldn't stop thinking about that. There was really nothing new to be taken out of that, all I noticed was the music turning from some sort of FPS video game loading screen to something reminiscent of Kirby's Dreamland, following with those women providing faux-answers on the topic. "Anti-virus, like a computer program!" Sigh.

    2. No one is saying fear will or even should go away, its the irrational fears that dominate your life that are the problem. This certainly isn't propaganda, but I feel this documentary "rubs people the wrong way" in which they naturally respond to with anger.

    3. Great post.

  26. And the No-Shit-Sherlock Award goes to...

  27. Well done; however, I wanted more.


  28. Perhaps there is no right or wrong. Given that we all have fears and bias. That is the '' point '' of this documentary, to help us cogitate and/or help ourselves? Given that we all have '' free will '',to make an informative choice to better ourselves, and therefore break a destructive cycle. We all know the answer to our own personal fear/s. Conquer them all with Love and understanding :) Thank you to anyone who can help us with insights into freeing us from negative and/or destructive behaviours.

    1. "Conquer them all with Love and understanding"

      Or I would say a bit differently - love will help us to understand our fears ;)

  29. Interesting how immediately after making reference to Islamic religion the next chapter makes explicit analogy to terrorism through its title about hijacking and terrorism and its shots of a city skyline, an obvious reference to 9/11 in keeping with the theme of fear. Well directed.

  30. Why English people drop those irritating intrusve r's? Dawkins said "praying towards Mecca*r* one day, or whatever it is". They usually drop it after idea, hey say "great idear".

    Anyway, what's wrong with praying to Mecca*r* ? This guy came up as such a condescending twit that is hard to take him seriously.

    And last but not least, good documentary, but seriously, the only thing they come up with is "awareness"?

    1. Dawkins never said anything is wrong with praying to Mecca, that's what you pull out of context. He stated that it is a superstitious reaction caused by fear, just like some people sacrifice goats or hide beneath blankets when they hear a sound on the stairwell. If you would take the time to read one of his books, you'd realize he's not condescending at all. The only thing he is, is rather anti-ignorant. He's not against religion, he just does not like baseless conclusions which exclude options to past them. In one of his books there's even a paragraph where he praises some religious leaders and only blames the sheep following them without actually understanding what the leaders try to say. (Source: Richard Dawkins: The greatest show on earth - the proof of evolution)... Before you call someone a condescending twit, actually read something he wrote.

    2. Actually he was reffering to how Dawkins came accross in the documentary, not to his opinions on Dawkins' work in general so there is no need for him to have read any of his books in order to be justified in that impression. Furthermore comparing a religion to the behaviour of conditioned animals could easily be seen as very condescending.

    3. His comment: "or praying to Mecca, or whatever" followed by laughter, both by him and his interlocutor was extremely condescending. Like it or not, but this laughter demonstrated the in-group-versus-out-group tribal behaviour many humans, even well educated ones display far too often.

    4. There are dozens and dozens of accents in English, even just in England. Mostly they are what's called "non-rhotic" which means they drop the letter R in certain places, but some are very rhotic, which means they favour the letter R (like in "idear")

      The area where Dawkins grew up is Oxfordshire. He grew up in a rural area, in the Cotswold hills. The traditional rural accent in that area is fairly rhotic, and is well-known for inserting r's in strange places (like "orld" for "old")

      The reason why there are so many different accents has to do with the history of the country; many waves of invaders settling down in different parts of the country, and isolated from other areas for a long time. Some of the oldest villages in the country happen to be in Oxfordshire (these are well over a thousand years old)

  31. My anti- virus is elimination of most media.

    The media has been telling me I am ugly and worthless because of my body since I was born. It tells me to constantly be in fear and consistently makes me hate myself by comparing my life and my body with others.

    Starting on February 1st my 6 month test will begin. No more television, no more internet (except for work). No Netflix, movies, and sadly, no more Top Doc. com.

    I am curious to how this will work out. I'll come back in August and let you know how it worked out.

    1. @sknb

      You are a beautiful and sensitive person and have as much intrinsic value as anyone else on the planet. I’m surprised you’re taking what the media says so seriously and so personally? Really, what do they know? I don’t know what your test is or why you’re doing it but it sounds like a bit of a hair shirt to me. Good luck, I would be interested in your findings as I go nuts within a few days of no internet etc.

    2. I think all good things has to be taken in moderation.
      TV is easy to get rid of. News not so easy but the benefit show rapidly. Netflix easy too, especially if you replace it with having to walk to one of the furthest video shop. Top doc, it's like wanting to stop learning the truth through someone's doc and all those comments you can read about below the doc.
      How about you only watch the stuff that interest you fully?
      But then again...who knows, you may be right...i might join you.

    3. The media has and still does make me feel truly ugly and I want every other body but my own. Then I had a deep spiritual experience in which I saw an angel. From then, TV stayed off and I read books and began to meditate and go within to find myself. The body is just the ego-self. It is just the body and nothing more than that. There is a place within you that is truly amazing. If you can get in touch with that beauty within and share it with others, it beats any type of body, however that body looks! It is after all, just a body. The mind is everything and can outshine any good-looking body. Find that amazing beauty from within and let that shine forth and the beauty you radiate will be blinding. We all have this Self, but are not in touch with it due to our over concerns with our ego-selves. We need to stop looking outward to what everyone else has, and look within to the amazing beautiful mind that we truly are. Our minds are so powerful, and we can get in touch with that power and use it to make ourselves truly happy. Let us not concern ourselves with what body others have, but turn within and realise we're more than just a body, we are an amazing mind!

    4. I like your outlook on life :)

    5. Thankyou xox

    6. I can see your thinking there, but remember that the media is only one of the many sources of the 'virus'.

    7. You need to only avoid mainstream cooperate owned media outlets, channels, and websites. And or take a critical thinking class and learn how to quickly evaluate claims and arguments and their fallacies and rhetoric. Avoiding all information if that's what your doing, will set you back. However its August now, so what happened?

  32. EVERYONE has a fear of some kind. fear can also be catgorized as a worry or panick or shock. You experience these feelings when you have fear. GOOD DOCUMENTARY fear senses up to act when in life or death situations. Recognizing things that can kill you and avoiding them is fear, but facing things that you know will kill you is courage. Fears hard to explain but most people are afraid of death or what will happen after death. What we dont know we often fear, and what we dont know usually relates back to our creator in some way. My only fear is dying alone, what is yours?

  33. As the guy who made the doc says in his comment on this thread, "awareness" is the bare bones begining of any understanding of the dynamics of fear, or re-directing it when it is unconstructive. That takes patient, repetitive pratice. It also helps gogs to turn off the T V while doing it.

  34. Considering it is believed that public speaking is the number one fear. I believe that fear is simply something in people's mind for them to blame reactions on when they jump the gun and pain is more of a survival tool. The thought and belief of being in pain, what might cause pain and how they avoid it are the actions which assist in ones survival.

  35. touche on the explanation that hell is a greater fear than death but it only applies to catholics because protestants have the assurance of salvation (lol)

  36. Dont watch.. this is a NLP capsule..

  37. I gotta love Dawkins, he never misses a beat when getting digs in about religion. Top man.

  38. These kinds of wannabe "professors" like Dawkins, are out to make a name for themselves, just as was Jim Jones and his kool aid drinkers, and Osama and his Taliban. They promote fear in their true believers that they may be right, and there is no hope but in Richard Dawkins and his gang of renowned BS blatherers, instead of encouraging people to research the systems they decide to listen to, and to avoid the money merchants and power seekers. But the professor is looking for his own narcissistic power over your mind.
    The idea is that we ordinary folks don't have the intellectual capability to look for ourselves? and so we need the "professor" to lean on? hmmmm! esp if we are willing to donate to his movement.

    1. Mom
      just so i know are you jumping from doc to doc spreading your nonsense and have no desire to back up your claims or can you back up anything you are saying? "wannabe "professors" like Dawkins" what he was a professor at a top university (Oxford) for many years. how about providing proof for your cause? can you?

    2. I agree with you, the level of ignorance contained in "Mom's" remarks regardless of where they are posted is simply stunning. This one more than most.

      Slight correction: I'm not sure which Jim Jones you referred to, but the 'kool-aid drinkers' Mom referred to are the People's Temple cult that became mass suicide victims in Guyana in 1978. That Jim Jones was a charismatic social activist with a lot of personal problems.

      To equate Dr. Dawkins with that Jim Jones, Osama Bin Ladin and the Taliban is a convoluted way of claiming that Dawkins is a fanatic cult leader.

      Ignorant, indeed.

    3. yes thank you my mistake i was thinking john jones dover trial apologies

    4. Hmmmm what "movement" would that be? I'd love to find out so I can donate!

      Btw, I think ordinary folk have plenty of intellectual capacity. Whether *you* do is up for debate.

  39. Furps didn't quite catch it. Wow.

  40. what is the point in this documentary? i watched the first 10 minutes, basically 2 women going in circles rephrasing what they've said over and over again pointing out THE most obvious s*** you can think of (yes, we are afraid of heights, because heights can kill you)

    lemme save somebody 20 minutes of wasted time by summarizing the entire documentary: we are afraid of things that can kill us in order to survive. that's it, they just tried to elaborate the f--k out of it and stretch that sentence into a 20min doc

    the uploaded also disabled comments on youtube, that is automatic downrate due to censorship.

  41. Thank you , brief but to the point. I wish the psychologist would give it a rest though, at least some of the world is finally waking up to the fact that much of their observation and so called associative behaviour is flawed , as its based on clinical data rather than epidemiological studies. millions of people around the world observed violence growing up and lived in fearful situations, most of us just go over it , and the rest provided a good living to psychologist , psychiatrist , and countless other medical professionals who have invented their own brand of perceptual manipulation

  42. I don`t like that pseudo-scientist Dr. Richard Dawking, and iam not going to lose my time going to look for his bio, but it too much of ignorance not to be recognised.
    What leads people to religion is the question of the meaning. To put all religions on the same bag and call it superstition is ignorance.
    The worst ignorance is to deny something from which one has no knowledge about.

    1. Religion is an intrepretation of life, it has no other meaning than the meaning you or whoever will give it. Religion is ignorance as it is a product of reason, same with science. Reason is very limited, we have to branch out to actually understand.

    2. Pseudo-scientist? Are you a ****** or something. That is so clearly how some religious guy has described Prof. Dawkins to you and you're just blindly repeating the phrase without remotely looking into it.

  43. "You can't live in fear" LOL

  44. "Terrorism"... I've always loved that word. "The profession of causing others to live in fear". Any guesses as to whom that might apply to?

    1. Yes, the Catholic Church! Followed closely by Evangelicalism and Islam. In other words, RELIGION!

  45. All this discussion with only a 20 minute documentary. Clearly there is a great deal of interest in expantion on this subject.
    It seems to me, people who quickly run from fear are often unprepared for it dispite any biological process while those who delay their escape for analysis are more prepared. So, conditioning is definatly a factor in humans.
    But does watching the evening news prepare you or does it placate you? I am guessing the evening news externalizes fear making all the death and violence seem unreal to people who experience a contunued stable environment.
    Conflict becomes a spectator sport but when it suddenly becomes real, unprepared people fall victims to their basic animal instinct.

    1. You said, “But does watching the evening news prepare you or does it placate you? I am guessing the evening news externalizes fear making all the death and violence seem unreal to people who experience a contunued stable environment.”

      Watching the evening news on a regular basis turns people into thoughtless zombies that are controlled and manipulated by the media, mass marketers and the war-machine. An example of this is the incident of carjacking; because several cases occurred in California, the news turned it into a national occurrence that traveled all the way to the East Coast. Within a week’s time the whole country (the U.S.) was hypnotized into thinking it was a national phenomenon when in truth is was a localized occurrence mostly based in Los Angeles. This makes people irrationally fearful of their neighbors, causing them to feel isolated and vulnerable and therefore in dire need of the latest security devices being peddled in commercials.

      This same procedure was used to dupe the U.S. citizens into believing the 9/11 act of treason. Before this incident ‘terrorist acts’ were all enacted overseas in response to U.S. corporations undermining the stability and sovereignty of foreign countries by using child labor in their factories and imposing unwanted Western ideology on their culture. Nike soccer balls and Cathy Gifford’s line of clothing are two examples I can think of right now that both used children as young as 10 years old to make their products. This Westernization of the youth started to destabilize the inherent native culture so they fought back the only way they could be effective. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist!

      Because Saddam Hussein was a thorn in the side of the U.S. military complex (with his supposed WMDs), Osama Bin Laden was chosen as a scapegoat to gain access to Iraq’s oil supply; at the expense of 3,000 U.S. citizens and over 12,000 U.S military personnel (killed and wounded).

      The news media has become a psy-ops weapon of the U.S. military complex that has been used very effectively to further its agenda…at a very steep and dear cost to both sides of the conflicts.

  46. Very good! I'll admit that I was tempted to stop watching after a few minutes just because I felt the film was harping on the instinctual/survival purpose of fear, and thought "well, this is nothing new". But I soon saw that this is a fairly concise film on fear and all of it's implications in our society. And well, frankly I'm a fan of anyone who steps up to say that religion and belief at it's very base is meant to comfort fear of the unknown through inane repetition of various superstitions...

  47. I just want to say thanks to everyone here for your thoughts and inputs. It means a lot to me. I have been coming to this website for years to watch some kick *** docs, so having mine here is actually an honor and a privilege. I know a lot of people have been asking about the 20 minute limit on my film. This is my student thesis final for the film school I have just graduated from. All of our films are required to be 20 minutes and under. So it was very difficult to condense a ****load of info into such a short time. I am talking with some people right now about expanding this film because there is so much more I wanted to explore, and now that I am out of school, I can do that. I also know that it might seem like a simple "awareness" was the answer to the film, but in reality it was just the beginning. Being aware of the information your mind is receiving, or even being aware of the thoughts you tell yourself I think is more of a first step on a journey. I love the **** out of documentaries, and I hope to learn more **** along the way as I make them. I also love psychology, philosophy and sociology, so it's like having your cake and eating it too. Thanks again. And thanks to TopDocs for showcasing my documentary short here. I have watched so many docs here, and I continue to come here to be inspired and let my mind get blown by some great content. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    1. That was good, Mr. Fama. It was very well thought out.

      I got the distict inpression, however, that you felt religion was part of the "virus" part of fear rather than a solution. One of the guest speakers mentioned that we read the negative news and get an unreasonable fear that such is more common than it really is, such as being a victim of a shooter in the mall, etc. I would also say that you negatively judged people of faith in your film (of which I am one) and for every one that does something exceedinly irrational like Jim Jones, there are multiple thousands of others that don't, but rather they make their world and other's worlds a better place. Why do religious people on average live up to 10 years longer? It's because fear is often the cause of a pre-mature death, and faith nullifies fear to a very great extent.

      The "anti-virus" of awareness is very limited in it's scope. I suggest "awareness" can also be on a spiritual aspect as well.

      This is a good topic and you could make a whole series on the subject. I would suggest one segment at least where you also look at faith not as part of the plague of fear, but as a valid cure for fear.

      Respectfully yours,

      Charles B.

    2. Ah, I should've known that was the reason why it was only 20 minutes. Anway for what its worth from this human being I wish you luck with this doc' and any other you should undertake and hope to see it/them up here on TDF or else where on the net. Take it easy dude and have a nice life. ;)

  48. Good job Ben. I agree with Paul. I could definitely see this being expanded. An interesting tidbit; the brains of conservative people have larger amygdalas, the fear center, than the brains of more liberal people. It's not surprising that conservatives are generally more religious. Religion is a very human answer to fear. I would disagree with the psychologist and sociologist though. I don't think simple awareness is enough to conquer an illogical fear. People like to think their way is the right way. No one wants to admit they were wrong, even if how they're thinking is illogical.

    1. Paula57: I'm not a biologist, but are you suggesting that conservative/religious people are victims of an enlarged amygdala, and hense irrational fear? I'll have to use this information in the proper perspective as I'm more inclided to believe that liberals are "amygdala deficient" perhaps due to lack of prudent use. ;-)

      Anyway, I would agree with you, however, that the solution of "awareness" for the fear "virus" isn't enough to conquer irrational fear. Ever been in a mall when there's a robbery/shooting? I have.

      Just after Easter 5 years ago. I was separated from my wife and infant son when a robbery took place in the mall. I was getting lunch and they were waiting for me upstairs on a bench when the shooting started. Shooting, screaming, running, panic! I thought it was Islamic terrorist--a very REAL possibility were I live. I was waiting for the bullet through the brain as I was the only one going against the flow of a thousand people to get back to my wife and baby (who by chance were very close to the shooters), but fortunately I wasn't shot. It was a bank robbery and they were firing in the air, not at people. Saw one man lying in his own blood, that I thought was dead from a gunshot wound, but turned out he was only trampled unconcious and survived.

      I got back to my wife who knew I would not leave her and she was so still at the bench and so scared I had to take our baby and run for her. One of the most fearful days of both our lives.

      Logically, I know this will probably never happen again, but I always look for exits and escape routs now in the malls. No logic on earth can curb that fear--but I have found some comfort in "faith" in God; it's a good thing, not a bad thing.

      Give us Conservatives a break, eah? I may have an enlarged amygdala, but I didn't abandon my wife and kid (unlike some others that even left babies), so fear can be managed, if not conquered, even by the "amygdala superior"! ;-)


      Charles B.

    2. Fear isn't a useless vestige of our evolutionary past. Any animal with a brainstem feels "fear" of some quality. In mammals (animals that have mammary glands and thus care for their young by devoting significant resources to raising them) fear can function to protect ones genetic line regardless of the individuals health. A momma bear is quite willing to approach a potentially harmful human who threatens her cubs regardless of the consequence. You approached a potentially harmful human who threatened your cub (we call them babies). God didn't give you that power; evolution did, and for very good reason.

      You likely weren't rescuing the "left babies" who were in danger. Instead, you ran to your family, saved your child (your genetic descendant), and don't see how this could be contrived as selfish.

      Save the babies you are not genetically related to, and then you'll be selfless. Save your baby and your simply material for RIchard Dawkins update to "The Selfish Gene."

      P.S. that truly is an amazing story, and you genuinely should be proud of your desire to put your family before yourself. I'm not putting you down; just explaining that such a response is built into not only us, but most mammals. In fact, even a goose (definitely not a mammal) will risk death to save its young from an overbearing (were quite larger than them) human.

    3. I didn't pass any of the abandoned children that day, but I wouldn't have stop, you're right. Be it selfish or not, I'm not sure.

  49. Thought this doc was going to be longer than 20 minutes! Expected it to be in multiple parts, seeing as its on Youtube, and was disappointed when it finished so quickly. Guess I should've read the text at the top a bit better. :S

    And yes I am a Dune fan and have come to the conclusion that everyone in the Dune saga, except one, is a total, complete and utter SMEGHEADS! The only exception being Duke Leto Atredies.
    In Shai-Hulud's name, No! I didn't write the Litany against Fear, that was Frank Herberts doing. I quoted it because I thought it was perfect for the topic being discussed in the doc'. Its helped me, you guessed it Az, face my fears one at a time, that and another philosophy I adopted has also helped me face my fear and that is simply, DON'T PANIC! (would write it in large friendly letters but can't I'm afraid)

    PS - Know where your towel is! ;D

  50. Great documentary. Fear and aggression are easier for many people than love and peace. When measuring the brain's energy waves it's known that peacefulness makes long flat waves whereas fear makes short waves with high spikes. Religion is a classic encourager of fear. Fear of God, fear he'll hate your humanness and in particular your womanliness. Religions give Religious Authority to their followers to hate non-believers or those who don't conform and inflict all sorts of punishments and death. It's a never ending circle of fear generation. In Catholicism you can get forgiveness not because you love God but because you're afraid of Him through Imperfect Contrition (Attrition). It's all sad really.

  51. I don't see how people just didn't just look at Marshall Applegate and think that dude was nuts.

  52. Do not show me your rear,
    I will stab you, my dear.

    Yours trully,


    1. That's a good one.

  53. Not bad, but a topic such as this needs much more than a 20 minute treatment. Making movies (even documentaries) is not a cheap process though so perhaps that had something to do with the short length. Interesting nonetheless.

  54. A really good video couched in fact, short but succinct. It should be required watching for all religious nut jobs. DHS uses this knowledge to advance their agenda. The writers might have discussed what happens when "wolf" is cried too often.
    P.S. Brian Herberts prose can't hold a candle to his father's writing

  55. Omg did some one just reference dune? The Litany against fear!? I love this site...

  56. Coming from a family where one parent had an external agenda not compatible with the cohesion of the family unit, fear was the weapon of choice to keep physical and emotional attachments to an absolute minimum. By the time I was a teenager I had developed a plethora of irrational phobias that included spiders, dogs and public speaking.

    To make a long story short, I somehow saw that I was missing out on so much in life which motivated me to seek emotional counseling; 8 years in total. As I confronted each of my fears one by one, my emotional horizons expanded vastly and it became much easier for me to develop long-term friendships that were unavailable to me before.

    But…that instinctual need of the fear virus to control my character is still ever-present; and like Herbert’s poem states, “I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.”. When I feel the anxiety of fear overwhelm my senses (and not own it) and allow it to dissipate naturally by itself, I have allowed the fear anti-virus to do its job, wiping clean the slate where it once resided.
    Again Herbert’s poem, “Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.” Once I have emotionally faced the fear it dissolves, leaving me in control of my character. Just a few weeks ago I faced an irrational trust issue that I was previously unaware that I had. Every time I gave my diesel pump and garage keys to a fellow employee (because he finished his route 20 minutes ahead of mine), I would say, “don’t lose them”. After a while I started noticing he grimaced every time I automatically recited my mantra; so one day I explained to him that I had trust issues that had nothing to do with him and now I give the keys to him with a smile instead of a mantra and our relationship has improved as a result. AND as a result of that simple act of trust it has become much easier for me to rationally assess a persons trustworthiness in other areas of my life.

  57. As terrified as I am I will overcome my fear and watch this one. 1-2-3- Jump.

  58. A nice choice of colors for the subject...
    A student film, so: Good info, but maybe a little too succinct? But worth watching on your way to something else, I suppose. I think I would've probably liked it better if they'd been able to afford to simply let Dawkins speak on the subject for the entire 20 minutes (not that he's a god for me, or anything). And comparing us to computer software may be accurate enough, as far as it goes, but it's getting a little bland by now, which mental anemia was only reiterated for me by the techno score.


  59. FEAR! ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space and i am shitting plankes.

  60. fear is an emotion like any other (love,joy,sadness,hate). what we do with these emotions is what is important. "good" and "bad" outcomes can arise from any emotion within the spectrum. i do agree with this doc that we must not succumb to irrational emotions and try to avoid others misusing our emotions for their own goals. fear itself can be very productive and useful

    1. Of course fear can be useful when appropriate. No one is suggesting we some how do away with fear, that would be impossible any way. The problem is that fear happens to be the perfect tool for manipulating uninformed people who tend to react without critical thought. The goal is to make sure people are aware of this so that maybe the next time they get scared they will stop for a moment, think about it, consider the long term economic, political, and philosophical ramifications of what they are doing.

    2. agreed

  61. I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.
    I must not fear.

    1. Shai-Hulud!

    2. When you are compelled to write a poem about it, you've already lost.

    3. not so, you've gotten ride of one...many more to come though.
      Is one a loser when one wins one battle every day?

    4. Is a "looser" anything like a "loser"?

    5. You caught me....i am French so Miss spelling often slip in my comments
      I'll correct it.

    6. It's kind of like a loser, only a little looser... :)

    7. Wow, read up on your sci-fi Danby, Paul didn't write this Frank Herbert did. Check it out, it comes form the novel Dune which inspired five sequals from Herbert and countless spin offs from various authors.

    8. You obvs never read Dune. :0)

    9. one fear at a time.

    10. It's been some thirty five years since I first read Dune. "Fear is the mind-killer" has been a mantra for me whenever I've found myself paralysed into inaction due to a fear of the consequences of my decisions. It has helped to spur me to make decisions that normally I wouldn't have made. That has led me to a more interesting and varied life. I would think that the introduction of this poem is inevitable when the topic "fear" is discussed.

    11. I think it's very fitting, as well.
      (And the geek in me loves it, too, lol.)

    12. I too have faced the Gom Jabar

    13. TWO Kwisatz Haderachs!?

    14. If you read brian herbert's horrible finale to his fathers legacy (dont please you will thank me), there is at least 4 running around in the end.

    15. I tried one of Brian's Dune books (I don't remember which one) about 3 years ago and just couldn't get into it. Had some killer cover art, though, lol.

    16. The butlerian jihad was interesting just because you could tell he based a lot of it from his father's notes. But the 2 books he wrote to finish the dune chronicles were awful. And even the butlerian jihad was awful writing, I'm just that much a dune nerd that i enjoyed some of the insights into the dune universe that he expanded from the hints frank gave you in the originals.

    17. I started to comment on your name a couple of weeks ago, knowing it's in the dedication of one of King's novels. You're not actually HIM, are you?

    18. Oh no lol. I just thought it looked cool. And good eye man. No pun intended.... well maybe.

    19. good boy

  62. every body tells that fear is a natural mechanism what about love?
    what is the use of love to the first men in order to survive?

    1. love = sex = reproduction

    2. sex does not need love

    3. but love plus sex is quite interesting...right?

    4. I'm just tired that everybody says that fear is a survival mechanism but love is as powerfull as fear and nobody says it's a natural mechanism. Maybe I'm just to distrusfull of what ever comes from psicologists, but using some logic isn't it natural to realise that maybe all of our emotions are just learned

    5. Romantic love as we know it is a modern construct of our cultures making actually. I mean people loved thier children and so forth naturally, without having to learn to do so. But, love between a man and a woman leading to monogamy and marriage is a totally modern thing. Many cultures have raise children as a community and do not practice monogamy or marriage. So I guess it depends on what you mean by "love" do you mean platonic love or romantic love? I would say platonic love evolved naturally to facilatate child rearing but, romantic love is probably learned behavior considering it isn't universal amongst all human cultures.

    6. I don't think that love of your chil is such a natural thing as you might think. in roman times kids that weren't perfect got dumped, evan nowadays there are many cases of mothers and fathers that leave their chirlden to die in dumpsters. so lets not get this as a rule because it isn't