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The Swastika reoccurs in my web pages because I was amazed the first time I used it.  People had a strong emotional reaction to it.  They reacted to this icon in a more powerful way than they reacted to the crucifix or any other icon.  I saw it as just representing Jim Jones (the preacher that convinced 600 people to commit suicide in Jonestown Guyana) and his pretending he was Hitler while growing up in Lynn Indiana. I then started asking why? Why such a powerful reaction?

I realized that it was a conditioned response.  I realized this because I was not conditioned.  I had all the knowledge that  the others had about the swastika but I didn't have the  powerful emotional reaction. To me it had just represented Nazi Germany during the 30's and 40's.

If this powerful emotional reaction (I actually have seen several people move back away from it when they encountered it unexpectedly) is conditioned into the people then I ask what else is conditioned?  There is no need for others to react any differently than I do when confronted with the swastika.  Yet they do. It would be absurd not to realize that if we had lost the war then the Stars and Stripes would be the Icon of Evil.  You may say, but we did nothing as bad as the Nazi's.  Wrong!   We, as a governing group of people, perpetrated the single most evil act known to the species.  We vaporized 20,000 plus people in an instant at Hiroshima.  In an instant!  And as though we couldn't believe what we did we vaporized another 20,000 plus at Nagasaki. I concluded that there is far more emotional conditioning by governing forces than we would ever suspect.  Our emotions are controlled by governing forces and we don't even realize it.

Since I now know how powerful the conditioning is when associated with the visual image of the swastika I use it frequently in my performance pieces to get this hate/disgust reaction from my audience.

by Jack Bowman 1998