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Secret Government (Essay Sample)


In the 22-minute PBS documentary available for viewing below, host Bill Moyer exposes the inner workings of the secret government. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it remains relevant today. Interviews with respected, top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government.


Please watch a 22 minute segment of “The Secret Government," from a PBS documentary series with Bill Moyers. The web page includes a transcript as well as the video.

  • The Secret Government

In the years since this Bill Moyers broadcast, revelations about the National Security Agency have sparked debate over the reach of NSA surveillance, both here in the U.S. and abroad. In particular, the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden allowed us to see for the first time the reach of the NSA through electronic data mining, including internet surveillance and surveillance of mobile phones. Moyers' 1987 report provides historical background for NSA activities in the 21st century.


For some contemporary examples of NSA activities, please watch and read the following resources:

  • U.S., British intelligence mining data from Internet companies
  • NSA Files Decoded
  • Robert Reich: The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America

Please answer the following questions:

Using the readings in Domhoff, particularly his ideas about Opinion-shaping Networks, explain how American ideology can be influenced to allow a secret government to operate outside of the democratic principles of the United States.




Then, discuss current revelations about the NSA in terms of the Bill Moyers video, utilizing the contemporary resources provided.


Explain why you think this either violates or can be justified under a democracy and the principles of “Americanism.” Again, make sure that you cite the sources listed and the web assignment materials.


You may use outside sources on this exercise as well.



3 pages

Times New Roman 12


Secrete Government
Secret Government
Using the readings in Domhoff, particularly his ideas about Opinion-shaping Networks, explain how American ideology can be influenced to allow a secret government to operate outside of the democratic principles of the United States.
It is readily apparent now to most Americans on the left that, mass media is used to influence American ideology and interest by some powers. Domhoff, in his book ‘the ideological process', describes this power as a secrete government, whom he describes as a group of official functionaries, profiteers, mercenaries, super patriots and spies who for various reasons do not operate within the official institution of government (Domhoff, 1978). The ideological process involves various methods by which powerful individuals try to shape the attitude, beliefs and opinions of the citizens. It is through this process that the secrete government attempts to disseminate, reinforce and create a set of beliefs, values and attitude that makes Americans believe that the United States is the best country in the world. The ruling class portrays America as the land of the free where opinions are respected, meanwhile in reality this notion is not true, as the ruling elite will do everything in their power to silence individuals whose opinion threaten the establishment.
The most common method used by the secret government to influence American ideology is by influencing churches, public schools and volunteer groups. In relation to this, the secrete government according to Domhoff, have developed various links with these institutions (Domhoff, 1978). However, it is important to note that the institutions are not part of the secrete government; nonetheless, they use co operations and foundations to instill their ideology within these institutions. Additionally, the secrete government is not only connected to the policy making process of the government but also public relation firms, advertisement agencies, middle class groups, special committees and the mass media with a view of influencing everybody. Moreover, the network pays special attention to the educated public, in other words those with professional occupation and college graduates. Mainly, due to their status which can be crucial in molding perception of the public in general.
Another method used by the secrete government to influence American ideology is through advertisement. We come across advertisement on a daily basis; it is virtually unavoidable, since it is everywhere. Advertisement is mainly used by organizations to create awareness and sell products...
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