Wednesday, August 24, 2005


When religion or politics lack an effective, fact-based defense, these types of propaganda techniques must be employed.The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant, and the obedient flock under the shepherd's rod OR the worker bees in the grass-root political ranks.

1. DUMMY UP. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. WAX INDIGNANT. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.

3. CHARACTERIZE THE CHARGES AS "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "non-believers", "members of the other party", "paranoid", or "hysterical.")

4. KNOCK DOWN THE STRAW MEN. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. CALL THE SKEPTICS NAMES LIKE "non-believer", "conspiracy theorist", "nut", "ranter", "kook", "crackpot", and of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" religion or political party and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6. IMPUGN OPPONENT MOTIVES. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a atheist or the other political party's agenda and are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the religious or political line who, presumably, are not).

7. INVOKE AUTHORITY. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. DISMISS THE CHARGES as "old news."

9. COME HALF-CLEAN. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.

10. CHARACTERIZE THE CRIMES AS impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. REASON BACKWARD, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report the leak.

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