I have been watching the advertising for ‘Sleeper Cell’ a television program about Islamic terrorists in a western country, trained to hide, and poised to strike on command. This is a standard, ‘spy vs spy’ plot line used in many novels, so the plot element is well known. It’s great when used to produce paranoia in your reader. It’s an even better subject when you use it to control the public. If you point to the possibility, or the probability that there are ‘Sleeper Cells’. ready to strike the public at anytime. You can pretty much do anything you want to that population, their induced paranoia will allow you vast powers to subvert their freedoms and liberties.
What isn’t well known is the concept of a sleep cell is another way to describe an oppressed minority group, any group. As the the description of a cell as a small group of angry people so frustrated, that they are willing to lash out at the majority in a culture. Calling any minority group, a sleeper cell, allows you to suppress that group even more. And, better yet, conditions the majority population to assist you in that suppression. The only difference between the dreaded sleeper cell, and a group of frustrated teenagers is the myth of control. The sleeper cell takes orders from a leader, or a cause from outside, control is from a mythological and mysterious external source. The teens lash out, either from external peer pressure, or from their perceptions of the environments, or from just plain anger.
So the concept is, more or less, a Spin name for a frustrated disenfranchised minority. Again, ANY MINORITY, and that applies to vegetarians, immigrants, old age pensioners, atheists, christians or Muslims. Whom ever you want to suppress, call them a ‘sleeper cell’ and suppress away. They are now the enemy, and you no longer have to deal with their frustrations, or their needs. You no longer have to deal with mythological and mysterious causes for that frustration.