Edward Bernays’ Cigar
Cigar box
“Ekkh, the thing reeks like a mix of spoiled bananas and chewing tobacco” – Steve Jinks


Edward Bernays




Increased persuasiveness and acceptance of new ideas


Promotes herd thinking until wipes out reasoning



Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

November 29, 1995



Distant nephew to Freud, Edward Bernays had a knack for entering minds to observe and report, often even change. Bernays was one of the early progenitors of mass marketing in public relations – the kind of goodwill imagery projected by corporations and governments alike. Propaganda packaged as commercial.

He campaigned with Procter & Gamble to convince the public their ivory soap left a user squeaky clean and doubled its visibility with carving contests. Dixie Cups were safe because they were disposable and prevented the spread of venereal diseases, which Bernays already had experience on from reviewing medical plays. When the American Tobacco Company approached in ‘27, they were at a quandary; women wouldn’t smoke. Bernays created the “Torches of Freedom” movement to attach public smoking of cigarettes to femininity, skyrocketing sales. Even the appearance of hearty American eggs and bacon on the breakfast table were his design.

1954 Guatemalan Coup d'étatEdit

The United Fruit Company (now Chiquita) also hired Bernays to make the domestic market crave bananas. With the growth of communism and industry nationalization in the 50s, Bernays pushed the board to protect all its assets in Central America through news reporting and federal support. In ’54, the CIA overthrew democratically elected president of Guatemala Jacobo Árbenz Guzman to protect American interests. Using mental gymnastics Bernays would have employed, such as false radio reports of surrender and bombings, Árbenz resigned. The actual invasion force failed, while the manipulation for positive change without bloodshed worked. Too well.

Castillo Armas was tapped on the shoulder to lead the country. His agrarian land reforms under Decree 900 (exchanging uncultivated land for government bonds) made him popular for being an effective lawmaker. The ousting strengthened Latin distrust of American capitalists and their excuses to alter other nation’s paths. Armas quickly turned dictator. Political prisoners were tortured and oppositions banned. A 36-year civil war engulfed the state between guerillas and American backed combatants stemming from “anti-communist paranoia”. Approximately 200,000 civilians were killed from numerous massacres, rapes, disappearances and bombings, including a genocidal removal of native Mayans in the western highlands.


An everlasting cigar. Inhaling the smoke makes the user more persuasive, and opens their mind to new methods and reasonings to back their ideas. Whatever direction will work best to spin a conversation in their favor, they will commit to regardless of their own beliefs. It remains the calmest alongside the cigars of his uncle Sigmund Freud.

Zeal to manipulate others with a new spiel into accomplishing whatever is needed from them. Some are very bold and self-boasting of their position, while others become sly to trick people into willingly following their new implanted belief. The effect compounds after another person is swayed, resulting in greater cohesiveness as a single group. Unfortunately, if the speaker fails to continually project their vision to the masses, they devolve on themselves. Horrid tasks an individual wouldn’t normally commit occur with greater regularity and scale. All it takes is a few upset folks and the rest will follow in uprising.

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