Long but interesting read.
Disinformation Tactics: The Methods Used To Keep You In The Dark
By Giordano Bruno | Neithercorp Press
Posted on pakalert on February 7, 2010http://www.pakalertpress.com/2010/02/07 ... -the-dark/
There was a time, not too long ago (relatively speaking), that governments and the groups of elites that controlled them did not find it necessary to conscript themselves into wars of disinformation. Propaganda was relatively straightforward. The lies were much simpler. The control of information flow was easily directed. In fact, during the early Middle-Ages in most European countries commoners were not even allowed to own a Bible, nor was the Bible allowed to be interpreted from Latin to another language, let alone any other tome that might breed "dangerous ideas". This was due, in large part, to the established feudal system and its hierarchy of royals and clergy. Rules were enforced with the threat of property confiscation and execution for anyone who strayed from the rigid socio-political structure. Those who had theological, metaphysical, or scientific information outside of the conventional and scripted collective world view were tortured and slaughtered. The elites kept the information to themselves and removed its remnants from mainstream recognition, sometimes for centuries before it was rediscovered.
With the advent of anti-feudalism and, most importantly, the success of the American Revolution, elites were no longer able to dominate information with the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. The establishment of Democracies (and Democratic Republics), with their philosophy of open government and rule by the people, compelled Aristocratic minorities to plot more subtle ways of obstructing the truth and thus maintaining their hold over the world without exposing themselves to retribution from the masses. Thus, the complex art of disinformation was born. The technique, the "magic" of the lie, was refined and perfected. The mechanics of the human mind and the human soul became an endless obsession for the elites.
The goal was malicious but socially radical; instead of expending the impossible energy needed to dictate the very form and
existence of the truth, they would allow it to drift, obscured in a fog of contrived data. They would wrap the truth in a "Gordian Knot" of misdirections and fabrications so elaborate that they felt certain the majority of people would surrender, giving up long before they ever finished unraveling the deceit. The goal was not to destroy the truth but to hide it in plain sight.
In modern times and with carefully engineered methods, this goal has, for the most part, been accomplished. However, these methods also have inherent weaknesses. Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. In this article, we will examine the methods used to fertilize and promote the growth of disinformation, as well as how to identify the roots of disinformation and effectively cut them, starving out the entire system of fallacies once and for all.
Media Disinformation Methods
The mainstream media, once tasked with the job of investigating government corruption and keeping elitists in line, has now become nothing more than a PR firm for corrupt officials and their Globalist handlers. The days of the legitimate "investigative reporter" are long gone, and journalism itself has deteriorated into a rancid pool of so called "TV Editorialists" who treat their own baseless opinions as supported fact.
The elitist co-opting of news has been going on in one form or another since the invention of the printing press. However, the first methods of media disinformation truly came to fruition under the supervision of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who believed the truth was "subjective" and open to his personal interpretation. Hearst's legacy of lies and sensationalism lives on in the Hearst published magazine 'Popular Mechanics', who accuse the growing 9/11 Truth Movement of outrageous "conspiracy theory" while at the same time consistently publishing articles about UFO sightings and secret government flying saucer programs.
As we will show, this strange juxtaposition of mixed signals and hypocritical accusations is characteristic of all purveyors of
Some of the main tactics used by the mainstream media (MSM) to mislead the masses are as follows:
Lie Big, Retract Quietly
Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out. A good example of this would be the collusion of the MSM with the Bush administration to convince the American public after 9/11 that Iraq had WMDs, even though no concrete evidence existed to prove it. George W. Bush's eventual admission that there had never been any WMDs in Iraq (except chemical weapons which the U.S. actually sold to Saddam under the Reagan / Bush administration) was lightly reported or glazed over by most mainstream news sources. The core reason behind a war that has now killed over a million people was proven to be completely fraudulent, yet I still run into people today who believe that Iraq had nukes.
Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact
Cable news venues often cite information from "unnamed" sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or "expert" sources without providing an alternative "expert" view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith. A recent example of this would be the Osama Bin Laden audio tapes which supposedly reveal that the Christmas "Underwear Bomber" was indeed Al-Qaeda:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/osama-bin-lade ... id=9650267
The media treats the audio tape as undeniable fact in numerous stories, then at the same time prints a side story which shows that the White House cannot confirm that the tape is even real:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60N16I20100124
If the White House cannot confirm the authenticity of the tape, then why did the media report on its contents as if it had been confirmed?
Otherwise known as "cherry picking" data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn't exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.
Distraction, and the Manufacture of Relevance
Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs, their only recourse is to attempt to change the public's focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by "over-reporting" on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story and, by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won't shut-up about it, it must be important! An example of this would be the recent push for an audit of the Federal Reserve which was gaining major public support, as well as political support. Instead of reporting on this incredible and unprecedented movement for transparency in the Fed, the MSM spent two months or more reporting non-stop on the death of Michael Jackson, a pop idol who had not released a decent record since "Thriller," practically deifying the man who only months earlier was being lambasted by the same MSM for having "wandering hands" when children were about.
Dishonest Debate Tactics
Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American's pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda. Because the media knows they will lose credibility if they do not allow guests with opposing viewpoints every once in a while, they set up and choreograph specialized T.V. debates in highly restrictive environments which put the guest on the defensive, and make it difficult for them to clearly convey their ideas or facts.
TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called "Alinsky Tactics." Saul Alinsky was a moral relativist and champion of the lie as a tool for the "greater good;" essentially, a modern day Machiavelli. His "Rules for Radicals" were supposedly meant for grassroots activists who opposed the establishment, and emphasized the use of any means necessary to defeat one's political opposition. But, is it truly possible to defeat an establishment built on lies, by use of even more elaborate lies and by sacrificing one's ethics?
Today, Alinsky's rules are used more often by the establishment than by its opposition. These tactics have been adopted by
governments and disinformation specialists across the world but they are most visible in TV debate. While Alinsky sermonized about the need for confrontation in society, his debate tactics are actually designed to circumvent real and honest confrontation of opposing ideas with slippery tricks and diversions. Alinsky's tactics, and their modern usage, can be summarized as follows:
1) Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
We see this tactic in many forms. For example, projecting your own movement as mainstream and your opponent's as fringe. Convincing your opponent that his fight is a futile one. Your opposition may act differently or even hesitate to act at all, based on their perception of your power.
2) Never go outside the experience of your people and, whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
Don't get drawn into a debate about a subject you do not know as well as or better than your opposition. If possible, draw them into such a situation instead. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in your opposition. This is commonly used against unwitting interviewees on cable news shows whose positions are set up to be skewered. The target is blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address. In television and radio, this also serves to waste broadcast time to prevent the target from expressing his own positions.
3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
The objective is to target the opponent's credibility and reputation by accusations of hypocrisy. If the tactician can catch his
opponent in even the smallest misstep, it creates an opening for further attacks.
4) Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
"Ron Paul is a crackpot." "Dennis Kucinich is short and weird." "9-11 twoofers wear tinfoil hats." Ridicule is almost impossible
to counter. It's irrational. It infuriates the opposition which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a pressure point
to force the enemy into concessions.
5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
The popularization of the term "Teabaggers" is a classic example. It caught on by itself because people seem to think it's clever and enjoy saying it. Keeping your talking points simple and fun keeps your side motivated and helps your tactics spread autonomously without instruction or encouragement.
6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
See rule number 6. Don't become old news. If you keep your tactics fresh, it's easier to keep your people active. Not all
disinformation agents are paid. The "useful idiots" have to be motivated by other means. Mainstream disinformation often changes gear from one method to the next and then back again.
7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Never give the target a chance to rest, regroup, recover or re-strategize. Take advantage of current events and twist their implications to support your position. Never let a good crisis go to waste.
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
This goes hand in hand with Rule #1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.
9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure on the opposition.
The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.
10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists' cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions. The idea is to provoke (or stage) ruthless attacks against ones' self, so as to be perceived as the underdog or the victim. Today, this technique is commonly used to create the illusion that a certain movement is "counterculture" or "anti-establishment."
11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. Today, this is often used offensively against legitimate activists, such as the opponents of the Federal Reserve. Complain that your opponent is merely "pointing out the problems." Demand that they offer a solution.
12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. The targets supporters will expose themselves. Go after
individual people not organizations or institutions. People hurt faster than institutions.
The next time you view an MSM debate, watch the pundits carefully. You will likely see many if not all of the strategies above used on some unsuspecting individual attempting to tell the truth.
Internet Disinformation Methods
Because the MSM's bag of tricks has been so exhausted over such a long period of time, many bitter and enraged consumers of information are now turning to alternative news sources, most of which exist on the collective commons we call the internet. At first, it appears, the government and elitists ignored the web as a kind of novelty, or just another mechanism they could exploit in spreading disinformation. As we all now well know, they dropped the ball and the internet has become the most powerful tool for truth history has ever seen.
That being said, they are now expending incredible resources in order to catch up to their mistake, utilizing every trick in their arsenal to beat web users back into submission. While the anonymity of the internet allows for a certain immunity against many of Saul Alinsky's manipulative tactics, it also allows governments to covertly attack those trying to spread the truth. In the world of web news, we call these people "disinfo trolls." Trolls are now being openly employed by governments in countries like the U.S. and Israel specifically to scour the internet for alternative news sites and disrupt their ability to share information.http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Raw_o ... _1016.htmlhttp://www.thenational.ae/article/20090 ... 42198/1002http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/news/1 ... eiled.html
Internet trolls, also known as "paid posters" or "paid bloggers," are increasingly being employed by private corporations as well, often for marketing purposes. In fact, it is a rapidly growing industry.
Trolls use a wide variety of strategies, some of which are unique to the internet. Here are just a few:
1) Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the web.
2) Pose as a supporter of the truth. Then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums -- trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane.
The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association.
In extreme cases, these "Trojan Horse Trolls" have been known to make posts which incite violence -- a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of the notorious MIAC report and other ADL/SPLC publications which purport that constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.
3) Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.
4) Prewritten Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. 9/11 "debunker" trolls are notorious for this.
5) False Association: This works hand in hand with item #2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the "Trojan Horse Troll."
For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve "conspiracy theorists" or "lunatics". Deliberately associating
anti-globalist movements with big foot or alien enthusiasts because of the inherent negative connotations. Using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.
6) False Moderation: Pretending to be the "voice of reason" in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a "grey area" where the truth becomes "relative."
7) Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition and then rebut those specific words. For example: "9/11 truthers say that no planes hit the WTC towers and that it was all just computer animation. What are they, crazy?"
Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.
Government Disinformation Methods
Governments, and the globalists who back them, have immense assets -- an almost endless fiat money printing press -- and control over most legal and academic institutions. With these advantages, disinformation can be executed on a massive scale. Here are just a handful of the most prominent tactics used by government agencies and private think tanks to guide public opinion and establish the appearance of consensus:
1) Control The Experts: Most Americans are taught from kindergarten to ignore their instincts for the truth and defer to the
"professional class" for all their answers. The problem is that much of the professional class is indoctrinated throughout their
college years, many of them molded to support the status quo. Any experts that go against the grain are ostracized by their peers.
2) Control The Data: By controlling the source data of any investigation, be it legal or scientific, the government has the ability to engineer any truth they wish, that is, as long as the people do not care enough to ask for the source data. Two major examples of controlled and hidden source data include: the NIST investigation of the suspicious 9/11 WTC collapses, in which NIST engineers, hired by the government, have kept all source data from their computer models secret, while claiming that the computer models prove the collapses were "natural". Also, the recent exposure of the CRU Climate Labs and their manipulation of source data in order to fool the public into believing that Global Warming is real and accepting a world-wide carbon tax. The CRU has refused to release the source data from its experiments for years and now we know why.
3) Skew The Statistics: This tactic is extremely evident in the Labor Department's evaluations on unemployment, using such tricks as incorporating ambiguous birth / death ratios into their calculation in order to make it appear as though there are less unemployed people than there really are or leaving out certain subsections of the population, like those who are unemployed and no longer seeking benefits.
3) Guilt By False Association: Governments faced with an effective opponent will always attempt to demonize that person or group in the eyes of the public. This is often done by associating them with a group or idea that the public already hates. Example:
During the last election, they tried to associate Ron Paul supporters with racist groups (and more recently, certain Fox News
anchors) in order to deter moderate Democrats from taking an honest look at Congressman Paul's policies.
4) Manufacture Good News: This falls in with the skewing of statistics, and it also relies heavily on Media cooperation. The
economic "Green Shoots" concept is a good example of the combination of government and corporate media interests in order to create an atmosphere of false optimism based on dubious foundations.
5) Controlled Opposition: Men in positions of power have known for centuries the importance of controlled opposition. If a
movement rises in opposition to one's authority, one must usurp that movement's leadership. If no such movement exists to
infiltrate, the establishment will often create a toothless one, in order to fill that social need and neutralize individuals who
might have otherwise taken action themselves.
During the 1960's and 1970's, the FBI began a secretive program called COINTELPRO. Along with illegal spying on American citizens who were against the Vietnam conflict or in support of the civil rights movement, they also used agents and media sources to pose as supporters of the movement, then purposely created conflict and division, or took control of the direction of the movement altogether. This same tactic has been attempted with the modern Liberty Movement on several levels but has, so far, been ineffective in stopping our growth.
The NRA is another good example of controlled opposition. Many gun owners are satisfied that paying their annual NRA dues is tantamount to actively resisting anti-gun legislation when, in fact, the NRA is directly responsible for many of the compromises which result in lost ground on 2nd amendment issues. In this way, gun owners are not only rendered inactive but actually manipulated into funding the demise of their own cause.
6) False Paradigms: Human beings have a tendency to categorize and label other people and ideas. It is, for better or worse, a fundamental part of how we understand the complexities of the world. This component of human nature, like most any other, can be abused as a powerful tool for social manipulation. By framing a polarized debate according to artificial boundaries and establishing the two poles of that debate, social engineers can eliminate the perceived possibility of a third alternative. The mainstream media apparatus is the key weapon to this end. The endless creation of dichotomies and the neat arrangement of ideologies along left/right lines offers average people a very simple (though hopelessly inaccurate) way of thinking about politics. It forces them to choose a side, usually based solely on emotional or cultural reasons, and often lures them into supporting positions they would otherwise disagree with. It fosters an environment in which beating the other team is more important than ensuring the integrity of your own. Perhaps, most importantly, it allows the social engineer to determine what is "fair game" for debate and what is not.
Alinsky himself wrote: "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the
One merely needs to observe a heated debate between a Democrat and a Republican to see how deeply this belief has been ingrained on both sides and how destructive it is to true intellectual discourse.
The best way to disarm disinformation agents is to know their methods inside and out. This gives us the ability to point out
exactly what they are doing in detail the moment they try to do it. Immediately exposing a disinformation tactic as it is being used is highly destructive to the person utilizing it. It makes them look foolish, dishonest, and weak for even making the attempt. Internet trolls, most especially, do not know how to handle their methods being deconstructed right in front of their eyes and usually fold and run from debate when it occurs.
The truth is precious. It is sad that there are so many in our society that have lost respect for it; people who have traded in
their conscience and their soul for temporary financial comfort while sacrificing the stability and balance of the rest of the
country in the process. The human psyche breathes on the air of truth. Without it, humanity cannot survive. Without it, the
species will collapse in on itself, starving from lack of intellectual and emotional sustenance. Disinformation does not only
threaten our insight into the workings of our world; it makes us vulnerable to fear, misunderstanding, and doubt; all things that lead to destruction. It can lead good people to commit terrible atrocities against others or even against themselves. Without a concerted and organized effort to diffuse mass-produced lies, the future will look bleak indeed.