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Who Is the Puppet Now

Born and raised in Germany, I knew the impact German fascists had on the heart of a German girl growing up in post-war Germany. When I learned about the Holocaust during my adolescence, I couldn’t fathom it and tried to imagine the monster behind mass murderers. Sometimes, I saw a cluster of faceless Germans who no longer felt like they had hearts and could be held accountable. Rather, they felt like—and were—the machine that programmed them. I later learned that Wilhelm Reich called this monster in “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” the “mass individual.”

The “mass individual” is the absorption of individual selves into a mass of like-minded people programmed by propaganda to serve the system. The “mass individual” gets programmed by cunning leaders to blindly obey and is no longer thinking independently. It will attack and control authentic individual thought, even one’s own, and silence individual voices. The article “How Hitler Conquered Germany” by Nicholas O’Shaughnessy highlights that “the essential aim [of Nazi propaganda] was the extinction of independent thought via images that would now think for you.”

Where are we now here in America?

It can be said that the American “mass individual” is serving a racist system created by a few racist and power-hungry leaders

It can be said that the American “mass individual” is serving a racist system created by a few racist and power-hungry leaders who seek to exploit this unconscious and vulnerable side of our nature the same way Hitler exploited it in Germans.

Living in a racist system, we were (and our privileged children are) getting programmed to accept legalized crimes against marginalized individuals and communities without even noticing it anymore. Powerful slogans are used and repeated to manipulate and disconnect that part in us from independent thought and our true nature. White people may not be white supremacists, but as individuals, we feel powerless and are afraid to face the “mass individual” who supports white supremacy and seeks to oppress and silence voices that don’t support it.

Nazis saw and programmed “den Schweinehund” (the pig dog) in us Germans. The one who wants to create and hate an Enemy and live in a world where only the self and one’s group have rights. Looking into the Bible, Jesus on the other hand sees and calls forth our true nature that can see and learn to love our enemies’ true nature.

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Nicholas O’Shaughnessy writes, “the cultural historian Piers Brendon has described propaganda as the “gospel” of Nazism.” Apparently, Goebbels “liked to say that Jesus Christ has been a master of propaganda and that the propagandist must be the man with the greatest knowledge of souls.”

Imagining a Nazi use Christ’s Holy name, I feel compelled to shout out:

“Love will win, our true nature is waking up to meet and greet Thee.”

Parts in us that are identified with and influenced by the “mass individual” can be consciously tracked and directed to receive from and get informed by the creative spirit that’s always there with us, waiting to help us co-create relationships and a world we love. When we make time in families and communities to gather in small or large circles with the intention to find words that describe the way we feel divided and disconnected in relationships with each other and ourselves, it helps us feel more real and grows our capacity to be with what we don’t love in a way that is healing.

I invite you to reflect on questions like, “What is the Schweinehund’s influence that makes it hard to love in “this circle?” And can we stay focused on supporting each other’s intention to break free from its influence?” It will give you an experience of the power of a “compassionate collective witness” who, unlike the “mass individual,” doesn’t seek to prove that you are a Schweinehund but who is helping you realize and actualize your true nature.


Allowing our individual struggle with the inner Schweinehund to be honestly expressed and compassionately witnessed by each other, we co-create an environment wherein we can feel ourselves more deeply and empower each other to break free from being manipulated and remote-controlled. Instead of blindly serving, or fighting against the ideas of a few bad actors whose goal is to keep our collective unconsciousness programmed and us controlled, we can help each other face and transform what keeps us from embodying love and from realizing that “Thou art in all.”

Doris Wolz-Cohen