Fracking industry insiders admit to using Military ‘Psy Ops’ tactics against American citizens

Last week, there was an oil industry conference held in Houston. Industry insiders filled the conference, listening to speakers lecturing openly on how they dealt with the American pubic in communities were they drilled. Inside, environmental activist Sharon Wilson, director of the Oil & Gas Accountability Project, managed to record speakers lecturing on the tactics used against the American people. She then handed recordings to CNBC.

Inside the conference, speakers publicly admitted that they used military ‘psychological operations’ (psy ops) against the American public in communities where opposition to fracking was growing.

Companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have been accused of causing tremors and other harmful side-effects. On November 5, Oklahoma was hit by its largest earthquake on record, a 5.6-magnitude tremor that struck 44 miles (71 km) east of Oklahoma City, and earlier this year, fracking was said to be a “highly probable cause” behind the tremors and after-shocks that occurred in North-West England. Besides the tremors which fracking may cause, opponents are also worried about other side-effects from the contentious drilling procedure, including possible “water contamination, the industrialization of the countryside, [and] additional carbon emissions.”

Homeowners in America, opposed to such practices and concerned of their own welfare, have formed movements against the industries responsible, and it was this growing opposition that led to the speakers at the oil conference in Houston sharing strategies and advice on how to combat the “insurgents”.

Yes, that’s right; Speakers at the conference described the opponents of fracking as insurgents, and explained how they found the use of military ‘psy ops’ tactics against the American public to be very helpful.

Matt Carmichael, Anadarko Petroleum’s manager of external affairs, gave a forum on “Understanding How Unconventional Oil & Gas Operators are Developing a Comprehensive Media Relations Strategy to Engage Stakeholders and Educate the Public”. He suggested that his colleagues in the oil and gas industry download a copy of the Army’s ‘Counterinsurgency Manual’, to utilise against the homeowner “insurgency”. Carmichael said:

“Download the U.S. Army-slash-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, because we are dealing with an insurgency. There’s a lot of good lessons in there and coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely remarkable.

“With that said there’s a course provided by Harvard and MIT, twice a year, it’s called “Dealing with an angry public.” Take that course, and tie that to the Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual.”

Business Insider obtained a copy of the FM 3-24, the final edition of the 2006 Counterinsurgency manual provided to psy ops soldiers, and had a look at what it advised. They substituted the word ‘government’ for ‘corporation’, and published an extract that highlighted Carmichael’s points:

” … insurgency has been a common approach used by the weak to combat the strong. At the beginning of a conflict, insurgents have the strategic initiative … the insurgents generally initiate the war. They may strive to disguise their intentions, and the potential counter-insurgent will be at a great disadvantage until [corporate] leaders recognize that an insurgency exists and are able to determine its makeup and characteristics to facilitate a coordinated reaction.

While the [corporation] prepares to respond, the insurgent is gaining strength and creating increasing disruptions throughout the state. The existing [corporation] normally has an initial advantage in resources, but that edge is counterbalanced by the requirement to maintain order. The insurgent succeeds by sowing chaos and disorder anywhere; the [corporation] fails unless it maintains order everywhere.”

In a talk at the same conference, entitled “Designing a Media Relations Strategy To Overcome Concerns Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing,”  Range Resources communications director Matt Pitzarella explains how to “overcome stakeholder concerns” surrounding fracking using military ‘psy ops’ tactics. Pitzarella explained how:

We have several former psy ops folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments. Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of psy ops in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania.”

Recordings of the conference and the PDF of the FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency Manual can be found on Business Insider’s article.




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