The Franklin Files

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Overcoming the Trickster(Disinformation): Media Wars of the 21st Century

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 446
RE: Overcoming the Trickster(Disinformation): Media Wars of the 21st Century

Which category describes you?

Disinformation artists use a variation of the
betrayal-by-trusted-source tactic when they
deceptively mimic the religious, political, or
ethnic biases and beliefs of others to gain their
trust. Salesmen have become notorious for gaining
entry into people's homes by claiming to have been
referred by a minister or priest of the victim's
church. Neurolinguistic programmers refer to this
tactic as pacing and leading: agree with the other
person's beliefs and match their mannerisms until he
or she becomes comfortable and trusting, then
gradually lead that person to the desired goal
(buying something, believing a new idea, etc.).

Most of us remember times that we fell for this
tactic, when people we assumed were our allies
pretended to agree with our biases and beliefs,
hoping to gain some advantage from us.

    [4.11] Lie blatantly, and make it convincing

If your back is to the wall, hire underlings to do
your public lying for you, and then have them fired
if the public discovers the lies. Politicians have
mastered this technique and have developed a system
of code words, winks, and nods, to give their
underlings the signal to initiate this tactic. This
method is inelegant and clumsy, to be used only in

Blatant lies are difficult to maintain with
consistency, because such lies demand a separate
world be created around them to give them life and
substance. The preceding disinformation tactics
are preferable because they are based on subtleties,
half-truths, and ideas that easily take root in the
minds of people who lack skills in reasoning.

    [4.12] Miscellaneous methods

Under this category are tactics that are violent and
illegal. I'm sure you can fill in the details from
here. For example, have you noticed the extraordinary
number of people associated with the Clinton
administration who have met with "accidents" or
"suicides"? [ref. 9]

Those who know the story of Wilhelm Reich will
understand the depths of corruption to which power
will sink. [refs. 8a, 8b]


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 446

[5] General strategy for neutralizing the emotional
charge of a disinformation attack

Eventually, anyone who is actively seeking the
truth, whether on Internet discussions, public
forums, or newsgroups, will experience attacks by
disinformation artists. The best method for
neutralizing the emotional charge of such an attack
is to briefly but explicitly describe to the
audience the tactic being used by one's attacker,
and then to continue presenting the original point,
relying on the audience's desire to learn the truth.

For example, if one is attacked by a critic who is
attempting to create a straw man (exaggerating one's
weakest points to knock them down):

"My esteemed critic is attempting to focus on some
of the more minor aspects of my argument, while
ignoring my major points. I do not claim perfection,
and welcome any suggestions for improvement.
However, in the interest of understanding the most
important issues at stake here, I'd like to return
to the main points I was making before we

Then quickly get back to your topic; otherwise you
have allowed your opponent to siphon off
psychological energy from you.

In dealing with ad hominem attacks:

"Person X is attempting to distract us from the
topic by making personal attacks on my character
that have little to do with the logical argument I
was making."

Then continue on point as if no interruption had
occurred. If the attack is so outrageous that others
are likely to see through the ploy, it may be OK to
simply ignore it without saying anything.


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 446

[6] Common-sense guidelines for determining the
truth in social contexts

Now that we are prepared with a knowledge of
disinformation tactics, it might be tempting to
become a professional paranoid, avoiding all social
contact, stopping all magazine subscriptions, and
throwing out the TV set. Hey, lighten up, or all
those New Agers will accuse you of harboring a
vortex of negative energies!

Since the arrival of the Internet, I've benefited
greatly in my own search for answers. Only 5 years
ago, even minor research projects would require me
to travel to the nearest university town to comb the
card catalogs, race up and down library stairwells,
track down missing books, order materials from other
libraries, and scan through hundreds of pages under
glaring fluorescent lights. Now I can access orders
of magnitude more information and disinformation
without ever leaving my desk. Life as a professional
sleuth of obscure health information has never been
more exciting! There are so many puzzles and enigmas
to choose from. The presence of disinformation only
makes the search more challenging.

Now that we've explored the tactics of
disinformation, I'd like to leave you with a few
common-sense guidelines for recognizing the truth.
There is nothing mysterious about these guidelines.
Most of us use them, but perhaps not often enough.
These guidelines are listed in order of increasing
difficulty and complexity; the first few rules are
so simple that we should make them daily habits.

In deciding whether to believe the source of an
alleged fact or idea, we should ask ourselves the
following questions:

(1) If speaking with the information source in
person, does the source have the body language of
someone who speaks the truth?

  Eye movements, facial expressions, nervous
twitching, postural shifting, and other such cues
are commonly used by professional investigators and
psychologists. Most people have some instinct for
this and can develop this skill with practice.

(2) Does your "gut reaction" tell you anything?

  Our central nervous systems process much
information subconsciously, and the hypothalamus and
autonomic nervous system manifest the results as
sensations in our chest and abdomen coupled with
changes in emotional state. [ref. 7] 

  Listen to your instincts. They are not the final
word, but should be used as a crude "hot-cold"
indicator. A sudden sense of queasiness in the
epigastrial region should be taken as a warning sign
to investigate the matter further.

(3) Has the source given you other information that
you have independently determined to be accurate in
the past, or has the source relayed misinformation?
Has the source demonstrated good skills of
observation, freedom from biases, etc.?

  Too many people will pass on information that they
assume is correct merely because they saw it in
print or on television. Fortunately, more people are
figuring this one out. Scientific journals have a
greater aura of prestige than television, but are
just as subject to error and deception; however, to
maintain their prestige, the errors must be more
sophisticated and stylish than those allowed on

  Also, be careful of the betrayal-by-trusted-source
tactic, especially regarding commercial news and
information sources.

(4) Does the source have both the life experience
and the academic background to evaluate the topic?

  I've seen many an academic miss the boat because
of a lack of personal experience; relying solely on
book knowledge is often dangerous. Murphy's Law (if
something can go wrong, it will) seems to strike
egghead academics lacking practical experience with
great frequency. Witness the inability of professional
economists to predict trends better than a
random-number generator.

(5) Does the source have a motive or vested interest
in stating his alleged facts or ideas?

  If a source stands to gain financially or
otherwise by making a statement or claim, this would
obviously cloud his or her objectivity and ethics,
and should weigh heavily in our judgment of
truthfulness. Certainly, considering such motives,
we should not accept the statement without further
investigation using other sources. Drug companies
that fund researchers to prove drug safety are
committing an obvious conflict of interest, and such
conflicts should be stated in any published research
reports; this problem has recently been acknowledged
as both serious and widespread. [Refs. 5a-5d]

(6) Is the alleged fact or idea consistent with
other facts you know or believe to be true, and do
all of the relevant facts fit together logically?

  Criminal investigators rely heavily on
inconsistencies in people's stories. The most
difficult aspect of fabricating stories or evidence
is attempting to ensure that all the details match
up with reality. If any inconsistency can be
discovered, it may lead to other inconsistencies,
and the fabricated story will unravel like a ball of
string. In contrast, the solidity of a true idea
will become evident the more it is probed.

  Inconsistencies are just as important in
scientific investigation and research. Plausible
theories and explanations must account for all the
true and accurately obtained data, not just the data
that conveniently supports one's pet theory.

(7) Are official news reports consistent with
eye-witness reports of reliable friends and

  If official news and media reports do conflict
with eye-witness reports or personal experiences of
your friends, then you have uncovered an obvious
inconsistency. I've noted an ever increasing
divergence between the collective wisdom of my
friends and professional colleagues and the official
media sources. After decades of reading Pravda,
Russians became skeptical and cynical, routinely
reading between the lines of official propaganda.
It is time for Americans to learn how to cope with
this problem.

«First  <  1 2 | Page of 2  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard