Talk:Edward Bernays

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Bernays, Lippmann, Caesar, Gregory XV[edit]

Given the importance of this man, his influence and his relevance to power establishment activities and to the quality of life, survival or demise of the species, this bio can be expanded substantially. In this regard, Wikipedia's propaganda page simply needs to be cited (sorry to be lazy).

Re the 20th Century comment and propaganda history: Caesar famously engaged in propaganda: the Gallic Wars is cited as example. Re Loyola: The origin of the word "propaganda" in its prior, proselitizing, nuanced application, was the "Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith" (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide) established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV to foster the spread of Catholicism, which was encountering competition from English/Dutch colonial administrations. Bottom line, however, is that the psychoscience of Freudian "public relations," is very much a 20th Century phenomenon -- as claimed. Lippmann, Bernays, Lee, modern Madison Avenuists and Rovian politicos did and do their homework.

Walter Lippmann, Bernays' (unacknowledged) precursor, bears additional mention in this bio and on his own page. Lippmann famously (but this bizarrely missing from his bio page; the Editors of this and that page should monitor changes to ensure that interested parties are thwarted from deleting pertinent factual content unfavorable to the industry) co-orchestrated Woodrow Wilson's miraculous conversion in under one year from the sloganeer who "kept us out of war" to the foaming monger who (along with the British) used "public relations" to whip the American (and British) public into a frenzy against the savage Hun (for contemporary example: Einstein, Ernst, Planck and Schweitzer; Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" and Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" would not, like Scott-Heron's' revolution, "be televised"). On the subject of the origins of PR: Craig Nelson in his eponymous biography of Thomas Paine, states that after the American Revolution, Britain engaged in a coordinated disinformation (synonym for a genre of PR) campaign (an appropriately military word) to ensure that British subjects didn't get any ideas about deposing their unelected monarch. Undoubtedly, could they have, they would've hired... Bernays.

Grammatical note: Bernays' is correct possessive; let's jettison the extra s.

Re what he really thought: Lippmann and Bernays were avowed elitists who did indeed think that "we" are stupid and need to be manipulated by self-appointed superior beings.

24.44.137.5 (talk) 06:30, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


someone just posted this question under the life and influences section[edit]

IT IS TRUE, ANNA is FREUDs daughter. "[I think that is not true ... Anna was Freud's daughter ... will somebody in the know please sort that out]"

it was not me Slarson 19:07, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Well, at first I linked to Anna Freud but that says she was born after Bernays. So I took out that part. Canuckle 19:16, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

1891-1995-1998. Tye, Larry. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations. New York: Crown Publishers, 1998. 306 pages. This is the first full-scale biography of Edward Bernays (1891-1995), who was Sigmund Freud's nephew, and who considered himself "the father of public relations." It is based on 800 boxes of documents that Bernays left to the Library of Congress, more than 100 interviews with his friends and associates, his 849-page autobiography published in 1965, and his numerous articles and speeches. With so much material, one might have hoped that Larry Tye, a journalist with the Boston Globe, could get behind Bernays' shameless self-promotion and find something insightful. But it never quite happens, because Bernays was a shallow and uninspiring person.

For American Tobacco, Bernays got women to start smoking, even while suspecting that smoking was dangerous. For United Fruit, he whipped U.S. newspapers into a frenzy so that the CIA could engineer its 1954 coup in Guatemala. A 1923 book written by Bernays was used by Goebbels, but Bernays shrugged it off. He did propaganda for South Vietnam in 1961, and then by 1970, after public opinion had changed, he wanted to help the peace movement. Bernays was the mass-media's version of situation ethics, and an excellent symbol of what's wrong with contemporary American culture. With Bernays there is no consistency, no character, no integrity, no conscience, no bravery, no truth -- nothing but spinning your way to fame and fortune. ISBN 0-517-70435-8 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.215.75.17 (talk) 04:39, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

older comments[edit]

But the mass population is malleable- there is no one in the world that has not been affected by advertising and propaganda! And look at how people become sheep due to a mass opinion or order! William Golding illustrated this brilliantly in 'Lord Of The Flies' and there are many other examples of this- the Holocaust (6 million Jews?!), a number I can't even comprehend, sucide bombers, Waco, supermodels (size 0 mentality) , etc. the list is endless! I'm not sure Bernays thinks we are stupid- just that our sub conscious is very malleable as we can't control it. But he did change the world and not for better. Rows98 11:25, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


Given that Bernays was quite obviously an unprincipled scumbag, I find the article quite biased towards being favourable to him. His lack of any conscience about whether Arbenz was a legitimate democratically elected leader of Guatemala speaks volumes about his obvious amorality. Before you reply with attacks, you may wish to consider that Bernays stated - in the very words of his own daughter - that all mankind was basically stupid. He thought that you, you reading this, for all your college education or otherwise, were basically a malleable piece of rubbish, and he didn't give a damn whether you were happy with that or not. May he and his kind rot in hell.

Bernays was filth of the worst kind. I agree. May he rot in hell, were there such a thing.--Kelt65 (talk) 18:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


You're also talking about a man who did extensive pro-bono work for the NAACP back in the 1920s--there's an award named after him thanks to his work. He also campaigned extensivly for anti-smoking forces in the 60s--a stance which he ironically lay the groundwork to discredit back in the 30s when he was employed by Lucky Strikes. He was a mixed bag: in Propaganda, he clearly states that conversation between an advertiser and potential consumer must be honest and direct, yet in his memoir he joyfully recounts flat out lying to the press. More than anything, he had a flair for showmanship and bought his own hype, for good or ill.



Edwards L. Bernys and Ignatius De Loyola ?

Does there exists a link between the work af Bernays, the work of Ignatius De Loyola and to the Nazi propaganda ? If so, it is facinating to know, that public relation can be traced many years back in time to the Reformation and Anti-Reformation in Europe.

Where can the principles of propaganda developed by Ignatius De Loyola be found ?

Please give links to references.

If it can be proven that there is a link, I think this must be included as a separate section.


KFL 18th February 2006


Loyola was way before this time, I believe.


I've found out what the L stands for. Its Louis, but Bernays refused to use it in his name. He was reported to "have not liked to talk about it" Longevitymonger

While Wikipedia editors might not welcome or agree to a section called Bernays was quite obviously an unprincipled scumbag, can they at least reflect on the negative nature of his ideas? For is it not correct that this article is biased and overly-favourable towards someone many consider a Nazi? 78.147.84.52 (talk) 21:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Good article?[edit]

This article exhibits some unusually good writing. If anyone cares to, it should be put up for good article status.--Jarhed (talk) 07:29, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

no it should not, a significant amount of text remains uncited, this needs to improve substantially before a GF review could go ahead. --188.223.6.168 (talk) 13:55, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

It should, indeed. I read it with pleasure. Whoever used phrases such as:

It was through Bernays that women's smoking habits started to become socially acceptable. Bernays created this event as news, which it was not. Bernays convinced industries that the news, not advertising, was the best medium to carry their message to an unsuspecting public.

is a talented writer. Don't change these bits, please :). Zezen (talk) 13:34, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Where are the citations?[edit]

This is the most amount of missing citations I have seen of any article. Please, can someone cite these claims? It's really difficult to understand Bernays when it is impossible to fully authenticate the reality of what is written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.130.195.56 (talk) 01:01, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

This is typical of biographical articles on public relations people. At least Bernays is indisputably notable. That makes him an exception to the rule. Jay Tepper (talk) 16:27, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't help noticing that virtually every sentence in this article is followed by "citation needed". Did someone with an anti-PR POV have a field day on this article, or what? 97.122.160.40 (talk) 21:51, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Noam Chomsky on Edward Bernays[edit]

Noam Chomsky has much to say about Edward Bernays, but little of it is mention here. Could we have a Section?

78.147.84.52 (talk) 21:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I am all in for it.

Zezen (talk) 13:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Edward Bernays/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

i just wanted to say in reference to someone else's comment, that Bernays only came up with the phrase "public relations" because he didn't want to blatently call it 'propaganda'. and even though he was indeed a scumbag, there are lots of sheep out there, obviously, so many of his theories, as time has unfortunately revealed, were very accurate. 'torches of freedom', i am sure i've heard bush say that a couple of times...peace.

Last edited at 17:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 14:10, 29 April 2016 (UTC)