Fear — A tool for manipulating people

Mehdi Maghsoodnia
3 min readMar 31, 2023

Fear has been used as a tool of manipulation by both politicians and religious leaders throughout history. By creating a sense of fear or anxiety among the public, they can control and manipulate people, often leading to negative consequences for society as a whole.

One recent example of fear being used in politics is the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom. Politicians used fear to promote their agenda, suggesting that the UK needed to take control of its borders to prevent “uncontrolled” immigration. This led to a divisive referendum that ultimately resulted in the UK’s departure from the European Union.

However, since the Brexit vote, the UK has faced significant economic challenges. According to a report by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, Brexit has already cost the UK economy approximately £130 billion ($178 billion USD) in lost growth, with further losses predicted in the coming years. The UK’s departure from the EU has also led to a significant decline in foreign investment and a rise in inflation, which has disproportionately affected low-income families. This is a classic case of using fear to manipulate people to act against their self interest.

Religious institutions also use fear to control their followers. One recent example in the United States is the promotion of the idea of a “war on Christianity” by some conservative Christian leaders. They suggest that the United States is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, and that Christians are at risk of losing their rights and freedoms. This fear-mongering has led to increased support for politicians who claim to be defenders of Christianity, even when their policies contradict the teachings of the religion.

For instance, in 2015, the state of Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allowed individuals and businesses to refuse services to LGBT people on the basis of religious beliefs. Proponents of the law, including Governor Mike Pence, claimed that it was necessary to protect religious freedom. However, opponents argued that the law was discriminatory and would lead to further discrimination against LGBT individuals. The law sparked significant backlash from businesses, organizations, and individuals, and was ultimately amended to include language that prohibited discrimination against LGBT people.

Not only can fear be used to control and manipulate people, but it can also be used to enrich those…