Integral to martial traditions is the association with personal growth and fulfillment. Ancient masters were
appreciated as fully actualized entities. They were respected for breadth of knowledge, depth of insight, and for having actualized a center from which all they did emitted. In addition to having great martial skills,
they were also poets, artists, musicians, healers, and scientists, perhaps all of them.
You see, for them, life wasn’t about kicking somebody’s butt as a basis for self worth. It was about finding
center, and establishing identity from the inside out while maintaining balance, perspective, and restraint.
Today, following such a path has become nearly impossible.
Society bombards us with
influences from earliest youth. The velocity and intensity of this bombardment is unprecedented in human history. A new religion has dawned. The worship of thought. Whoever controls the weight of thought,
ultimately controls the will and resources of the people. Institutions like government, corporations, and political parties, which were once derivative of the people’s authority have now taken charge. They have
mastered the art of manipulation, effectively putting themselves in the cat-bird seat.
That is, only if you let them.
What starts out as diligent effort to achieve wakefulness, evolves in the
crucible of a master’s spirit into an uncompromising quest for truth. Historically, that as been their path of fundamental liberation. The ultimate self defense, and the underlying purpose of all your efforts and
training is actualization and protection of truth. As you work diligently to this end, always be mindful of those who will spare no effort, investment, or technique to take that away from you.
Just as truth will carry you to liberation, the absence of truth will steal your liberty.
I propose as a starting point you familiarize yourself with some of the more common techniques that have become stock
in trade for the influence peddlers. Recognizing these techniques, and knowing them for what they are when they’re targeting you is the first tier of self defense. Once you learn to identify the artifice,
your path for self discovery and liberation will re-emerge.
The Propagandist’s Tool Chest
While not all opinion makers are propagandists, the line sometimes draws thin. These tools have so proven their worth to propagandists over time that they
are now stock in trade and integral to every opinion maker’s toolbox. We attempt to categorize them here (in alphabetical order), recognizing some approaches overlap and are even re-portrayed elsewhere as slightly
Appeals to Fear, Greed, Patriotism and God
someone tells you to be afraid or fearful, put your guard up. Following next will be a sales pitch, a request for your support, or a petition you relinquish something of value in your life.
I remember the
streets of North Philadelphia. Thugs used local bars as hangouts and occasionally pushed into local businesses, enlightening owners to the risks inherent with doing business in the locale. Citing the possibility of
violence, fire, shootings, vandalism, safety of patrons, etc., then proposing an alliance of interests. Mutual insurance, you pay, we protect . So long as it stood, the arrangement would ensure no harm came to the
business, the owner, loved ones or patrons.
Though not as crude, society echos this same psychology on a grander scale. The underlying problem facing every organized society is how to manage social
wealth so there is adequate return for the combined input of labor, property and investment. If managed effectively, returns will provide for the population, its safety, health, education and well being, with adequate
opportunity for creative and productive fulfillment growth and reward.
Even in today’s troubled times, America has the resources and capacity to provide opportunity, growth, health care, and employment
sufficient to the needs of its populace. We could have been first in recorded history, as a society actualizing this potential. However, major disconnects continue between the governing elements of society, and those
who would benefit from such proper oversight of domestic policy. Access to health, education and a reasonable conclusion to one’s working life have become standards in many parts of the world yet even today, are not
the focus of our political dialogue.
Tragically, many opportunities for stabilization of our society have de-railed, as lesser objectives, catering to the interests of few, or resulting in our excessive
commitment and dependence on the military and ill considered adventures abroad, have become the new norm. It takes great talent and initiative to be a great leader, capable of bringing a society such as ours to the
height of its full potential. When such leadership is lacking, the fallback position is leadership by proxy, using fear and greed as the drivers.
Whenever anyone tells you to relinquish your power or your
resources so they can protect or ensure your safety, you should turn away. When someone tells you to ignore the comments or opinions of another because they're aligning with the enemy, you should turn away. When someone
promises you that more evil will come your way if you choose to relieve them of their influence, you should turn them out.
It s a tragedy when leaders deliver fear into our hearts. If that is the sole
weight of their argument, their position has no value. As the folks in North Philadelphia eventually learn, being afraid is not freedom, and it ts not living.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt spelled it out, "the only thing to fear is fear itself !"
All things considered, your only freedom is freedom from fear. If your leaders , or associates, employers,
colleagues family or friends need to bring fear into your life, commit to walk with freedom and show them how to actualize a life and society without it.
You will enjoy the lighter load.
As to greed, to some degree, we all lean that direction, placing our needs and desires first in the hierarchy of social
priorities. That’s why this trigger is so easy to pull.
Needy folks (such as you and I) struggle looking at the needs of society and concluding our sacrificing a few hundred dollars here or there for the
common good is a better decision than pocketing the money for ourselves. If it were otherwise, you would be hearing campaigns like, “Next year, and every year thereafter, everyone volunteers to pay $2000 more in
federal taxes to stave off the debt crisis.” There’s a big picture here that few perceive. If we were able to commit to take responsibility for, and to solve the debt crisis, the stock market would push
upward, and the benefits would accrue to everyone. Unfortunately, it won’t happen, too many people of influence are benefitting from the status quo. Too many without influence won’t give up their pocket change.
One of our major political parties , constantly injects the theme of tax rebates and or reductions as their platform for office.
It's been well-established, particularly in recent history, this is a
dead horse. Once outside the gates, it won’t run. If the system isn’t sound, whatever you get back, goes out somewhere else. When the Reagan tax cuts trickled down to my wallet, there was an associated increase in
local property taxes and sales taxes as jurisdictions adjusted to cutbacks in federal support. Moreover, at the conclusion of his two terms, the national debt had risen.
All too often, with federal cuts,
social themes of education, opportunity, employment, health and old age security are relegated to the deep background . Higher education expenses have increased 10-15% per year, doubling every 7 years while income has
only marginally increased. Is that not the equivalent of a social tax, talking from the bottom line?
Once voters are confronted with the question, "How much money do I stand to make if I get these guys
in office," the big picture gets lost.
Don't fall for it. Clear water, dirty water, you can see differences if you look long enough. The wealth of a country belongs to its people. Those who are
especially productive or creative or efficient deserve to be adequately compensated for their unique talents, but not to the extent their personal wealth exceeds that of national economies.
Yet another switch exploited by those seeking to control our opinions, particularly as it diverts attention from other issues of import.
When television preachers talk, they are careful to wrap themselves in the flag. When politicians speak, there's always a flag nearby as well as a bible. They characteristically pin the flag on the lapels of
their jackets, or their blouses. It sets up the psychology of you like the flag, I like the flag, therefore you should like me. I think you understand that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and our flag did not exist
to become the marketing icons of car dealerships and furniture stores. Neither are they the underpinnings of fundamentalist Christian beliefs, or the private domain of that talking head you see on the news. The flag and
our national images are sacred icons, can you imagine opening the Sunday classifieds and seeing Jesus and the apostles trying to get you to lease an SUV.
See through it, don't get bamboozled.
If you are looking for salvation, and are willing to pay someone for guidance, prophets will spring up all around you, eager to take your mind, your money, your possessions, your
spouse, and children. Be wary!
As to God and religion, well Bob Dylan once penned a song, With God on Our Side. Listen to it, read the lyrics, and think.
All God wants you to do is to perceive
truth, and to act appropriately. He doesn t want you to kill; and he wants you to recognize the needs of the less fortunate. How would he judge us? When elected officials want you to think they stand with God, or when
prominent religious leaders want you to think God demands you lean a certain way on social issues , beware!!! Distinguish between God and nation, and don't get them confused. There is no more effective fog over truth
than the exploitation of God awareness by someone with their own political agenda.
In quick summary,
when confronted with any discussion of issues, thought or philosophy, interlaced with appeals to fear, greed, patriotism, or the Creator, run for cover. Take the hammer out of their hands. Get off your dufus and do your
homework, inform yourself and act accordingly. Take it to the battlefield of ideas. Let truth sort out the survivors.
Typically, this employs reference to an authoritative supporting source, the aura of which will make the proposal palatable while skipping the need to fully present, discuss, analyze and
Example: The Obama jobs bill includes what is now referred to as the Buffet Rule; Donald Trump questions President Obama’s citizen birth status; Montel Williams and Sylvia Browne are selling
juicers (I already own one). Your Republican senator argues the merits of a tax cut package he has not yet read.
Based on the premise everyone has some dirty laundry somewhere, and if not a skeleton, at least a few bones in their closet.
Attempts to destroy character have become the
norm. They can be blatantly overt, like the Swift Boat Veterans advertising campaign, or as subtle as the insidious questions regarding Senator John McCain’s patriotism and loyalty seeded by Bush campaign supporters,
and subsequently ridiculted by candidate Donald Trump. I can go on. All you need do is look around. The media thrives and profits on this type of mudslinging so it’s not going away anytime soon. The technique
has been well researched and exploited by every propagandist. When you say something terrible about someone, it sticks, and even takes on a life of its own, whether or not it has basis in fact. The people who
exploit it already know you can’t listen to it and ignore it. It goes in anyway, sinks thru your skull, bounces around, and works its sinister magic.
Best defense is to terminate the source. Change the
page, turn the channel, or cancel the subscription.
Common man; Salt of the Earth; Joe the Plumber
The "plain folks" or "common man" approach aims to convince us the propagandist's position reflect the common trajectory of the people. It aims to win
audience confidence by communicating empathy with the needs and concerns of the disadvantaged target.
Propagandists exploit common language and colloquialisms (and supplement their message with anecdotes of
personal struggles and poor upbringing, we hear of their small farm ubringing, or immigrant parents (or grandparents), or even their fatherless childhood against heavy odds and adversity) in attempting to habitate their
point of view with what is our identity.
A leaflet may pose an argument on a macroeconomic issue, perhaps unemployment insurance benefits, "Given the country has marginal resources during this
recession, we should stop paying unemployment benefits to those who do not work (or choose not to work), because that’s like maxing out all your credit cards during a time when you should be tightening your belt."
While I like and respect Senator John McCain, I don't always agree with his leanings and certainly recognized the exploitation of Joe the Plumber for what it was. Joe the Plumber was morphed into a metaphor
for you and me. By standing with Joe the Plumber, Mr. McCain was saying that he was standing with us, because he was like us and understood our issues.
You can read about Joe the Plumber online for more
detail regarding image, metaphor and underlying reality. Weigh what you find, then think back to what was in your head when John McCain first put the thought in there.
The influence mongers are not the Salt
of the Earth . We are! Don’t let them tell you otherwise when they try to put your under the spell. Force yourself to come awake!
Demonizing the Opposition
There are monsters and demons and there is evil, and there is good, hope and salvation.
But, they are rarely where you think they are, and almost certainly not where
somebody else tells you they are.
Militaries have long known the value of their forces having a perceived superiority and supremacy over the opponent. This translated to converting the opposing nation, group, or entity
into status of objectified ridicule (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term "gooks" for National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Viet Cong, or "VC"; other examples abound). Dehumanizing is also
a term used interchangeably with demonizing, the latter, an aspect of the former.
Know this! Against a demonized or dehumanized target, any conduct or treatment becomes tolerable.
On the current stage, we hear the word traitor being tagged more frequently in political discourse.
A number of personalities, social issues and causes are routinely tagged for ridicule and these include but
are not limited to: Bill and/or Hillary Clinton; Barrack Obama; George W. Bush; Mexicans; Gay Rights; Nancy Pelosi; Big Oil; Islam, etc.
Do you remember the association of death panels with the Health-Care
reform act? What does that say about the people who support it? Sort of like calling someone a Nazi without using the word, isn’t it?
Astonishingly, a most recent iteration of this tactic is the charge of
demonization by one party against another and the return charge of demonization by the demonizer, cycling ad pukem.
5/6/11 GOP Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah blasts Democratic efforts to repeal tax
subsidies for big oil companies: Quit trying to demonize success and create straw men to shift the burden away from the fact that de facto moratoriums, lack of action, foot-dragging, red tape, glacial speed by this
administration is what is causing our problems,
Does this kind of stuff work? As a test, that same day I googled Democrats Demonizing . In thirty seconds I was able to find a blog thread spinning off
the comment that:
The comments that stand out are, they want to kill women, they want old people to starve, they love pollution, they want to destroy the whole wide world and this is just the last
few days. These statements would be laughable if they did not believe them, but it appears they do or at least they think their supporters believe them. So what do you guys think, is this just a sign of the times or is
the delusion starting?
A startling number of others immediately hitched to this cart and rode the above comments into oblivion.
Somewhere beneath the many layers of the comments above lies
a thread which can be traced to the truth. Who will initiate the search? Who will own the effort?
A subset of the big lie (see: Lying) ... is what we might call the little lie. This involves the creation and/or
manipulation of images, recordings, dealings and associations into threads of support or suspicion, to suit the objective.
Most images, recordings, press conferences and interviews are meticulously staged.
There is so much reliance on teleprompters that even attending a musical concert, you can see performers getting lyrics off of prompters.
With digital images, photographs have been shown to be enhanced or
altered to impact the message being delivered, a flag may be added, or even a supporting audience where none existed in fact. Where once there was canned laughter, there is now canned image. Fake reality.
Images have huge impact on beliefs that people walk away with. Studies have shown where an image accompanies objective text narrative, it is the image which sets the residual impression in the mind of the receiver.
These same studies have found that when the image directly contradicts what is in the narrative, the perceiver remembers what was in the image as the basis for belief, and ignores the contextual facts.
If you support our position, send this letter to your congressman, senator and political representatives. Better yet,
share it with your social network.
When you join AARP, or the NRA, or the Sierra Club, you are choosing to support a political agenda by investing your resources (if only your membership fee, they’ll
eventually get around to asking you for more money). If you do this as part of a personally reasoned approach to backing what you think is important, no problem.
If you unquestioningly support each issue
and agenda they put before you, then you are passively eliminating consideration of other choices which may be better answers or solutions.
The ditto is like a rubber stamp. Look at your city council, or
your elected credit union representatives. Ever notice they’ve been there forever. Any idea how hard it is to replace an incumbent? Incumbent names are often first on the ballot, because first names get first
votes, as though the selection were knee jerk automatic. In the alternative, incumbents are identified as incumbents. Same deal, if you know nothing about the alternative, you’ll likely check the incumbent.
In recent years, the term dittohead worked its way into our culture. Originally this was associated with listeners of a popular syndicated radio show. Basically the celebrity would take strong, generally
conservative, and frequently outrageous positions, and followers of the show would mimic those positions in their social exchanges. Now the term has become more generalized, and applies where one looks to a pundit for
his or her truth , then mimics whatever the pundit opines.
This of course is the propagandist’s dream, one pundit voice becomes 10,000, and the dissemination of the message is virtually instantaneous.
Combining this with the other elements of control proves to be a devastatingly effective stratagem. How common is it? Turn on your TV or log on to social media and see!
Euphoria; Stimulation; Titillation
Military parades, political conventions, revival meetings, declarations of victory, declarations of unity, change, etc.
All opinion makers, from the campaign strategist, to the minister, even the urban pimp know the impact of titillation, and how to exploit it. Their intent may not be nefarious. Still, the technique is
exploited to further their ends and agendas.
How did you feel when President Bush declared victory in Iraq in 2003? Made you feel good? Was there victory?
When somebody tries to tickle you, learn why.
Give Small, Take Big
This used to be the domain of salespersons
and mass marketers. Then it worked its way to recruiters, now it seems to be everywhere.
Do you remember when the U.S. Postal Service used to deliver mail?
I suppose they still do. But in
my mailbox, incoming breaks out to about 85% advertising and 15% mail. One year during the Christmas holidays, I saved the incoming mail and within days had filled boxes with unwanted solicitations. All that
nonsense just to receive fifteen Christmas cards.
When I lived in Asia, I would sometimes visit a jewelry store. On my entering, someone would put a soft drink in my hand. That usually meant I stayed long
enough to finish the beverage, and browsed. It also meant I entered, having already incurred a psychological debt to the shop owner.
Give small, take big.
This has pretty much integrated into
our political process, and is part of the process for any bill which requires votes to pass, particularly during this period of legislative polarization where the cost and concessions necessary to ensure passage of
virtually any bill, now requires major re-working and sacrifice to the proposal.
There are situations where this tactic is benign, and even sometimes productive. Frequently however, it tilts the scale away
from you, and its adverse impact on balanced discourse can be insidious.
Listen to any political debate during campaign season. Listen to the political ads.
Watch how the candidates have become comfortable with truth out of context, truth as a cloak for concealment, truth as an
evasion or seed for deception, or as a springboard for blame or ridicule.
I have learned to avoid all stations and programs which choose to propagate this garbage. You’d learn more by listening to the
sound of a toilet flushing.
Yet another type of mis-labeling, the purpose of which is to
foreclose airing of genuine merits by attaching the ultimate negative label.
Until most recently, basic human decency meant you did not refer to your opponent as jack booted , goose stepping , nazi , or
Now, a week doesn’t go by where we don’t see or hear it somewhere in the media. As I’m editing this, Hank Williams Jr. is running damage control for just such a reference made during a Fox
news interview (October 3, 2011). While the circumstances of his interview might argue his use more an abandonment of good sense than malicious intent, it does not explain its exploitation by and thru the media in
what should otherwise be informed discourse.
The best propaganda usually has some basis
in truth. That’s why we have spin doctors, and people who cite quotes out of context. There’s no better leverage for fallacy than the properly inserted grain of truth. This relies on the mark confirming the
truth in the seed, then transferring that confirmation to the mass of deceit.
Situations do arise where there are no seeds of truth. There, only the big whopper will work.
The big whopper has a fingerprint which looks something like this:
1. The whopper is a big, big lie, almost audacious in its scope.
2. The big lie is one that cannot be readily
discovered/uncovered, and/or is based upon the credibility and/or authority of an impeccable source. If you combine these, it s a virtual slam dunk.
3. It drives some momentous undertaking over the short to
intermediate time frame. Perpetrators of the big lie know that once the train leaves the station, it s virtually impossible to pull it back.
4. Not infrequently, the big lie is uncovered and/or revealed for what it is.
5. Discovery of the big lie proves of little consequence. What has occurred is fait accompli and irreversible. Those who forced
the play will of course deliver up the usual scapegoats (other than themselves), and will cite good faith reliance on best information at the time.
6. The tactic works best with plays on fear, suspicion, patriotism, and the divine.
7. The set-up on the big lie is constant repetition and association with a need for significant action in response.
8. What makes the lie especially big is that over a period of time (not necessarily long) it becomes the target’s perception of what constitutes objective truth.
We have many instances of this tactic coursing through cultures throughout history.
A few examples of considerable import to us would be the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (associated with our entry into the
Vietnam War), and more recently the Weapons of Mass Destruction (as basis for our entry into Iraq). The first was overstated, and the second didn’t exist. If you want to have even more fun, read up on McCarthyism.
Managing the News
Goes with the turf. Propaganda will not seed unless it can be distilled to one digestible
principle, kept simple, and repeated until it takes root.
For the information strategist, that’s where the media fits in.
The media has become the conduit. Embedded journalists would have been
laughable in the 1960's. Where is Sean Flynn when you need him?
And now friends, we have social media. Beweare!
The mislead are real entities, in many ways detached from reality. If they were fish, they'd be fish out of water, dead by sundown.
How many times do you see a straight answer to a political question?
This technique provides fodder, with the recipient either distracted or left to formulate conclusions
without full benefit of facts, and without the ability to evaluate or test the position. Modern news formats are fertile soil for this approach. What we have today is newsertainment. News is what’s snap shotted
into today’s broadcasts (right after the commercials, of course) and there is no easy thread of connection allowing a broadened chronological purview showing where errors have been made and course corrections are
Consider the impact of the Monica Lewinsky scandal on the Middle East Peace process. During the period leading up to the discovery of Mr. Clinton’s zipper problem, peace was breaking out
everywhere. Budgetary allocations for the military were manageable, our forces were downsizing and modernizing, and both parties to the peace process were nearing positions where obstacles might be bridged. Clinton was
looking to be the same catalyst in the Middle East that he had been in Northern Ireland.
As a national objective, this effort should have received the full support of the entire nation, read that to mean
both political parties. We stood to lose too much if the process failed. This was no less than the prime national strategic objective. Do you recall that ever being mentioined, anywhere?
reality. Had the Clinton administration facilitated peace in the Middle East, the Republicans would have been on the ropes. They could not allow that success to be credited to the Democrats. When
Clinton’s zipper failed, they were like pit bulls latching onto a dangling piece of meat, effectively relying on our ingrained pathos about all things sexual to divert our attention to Lewinsky.
study what unfolded, Clinton’s focus was re-deployed to survival of his presidency, the unfolding peace surge crumbled , and we are where we are, post 911, two wars down the road, with an economy turned nearly inside
out, Afghanistan unsolved, China emerging, and North Korea mocking. Just think. How different might it have been had he succeeded?
All that because of poor leadership and sex between mutually consenting adults.
That s obfuscation!
While we are not Pavlov’s dogs, we are primed to respond to any number of verbal and visual stimuli, almost to the point of losing hold on material issues. Influence mongers are forever researching the
efficacy of words and images (see: Odds and Ends/Words
below). An entire industry has evolved to measure and document those relationships.
candidate is presented almost as a mannequin. Nearly everything is orchestrated from the cosmetic surgery to the flip of the hair during interviews, the wife who is a great cook or the brains behind the
husband’s success, the perfect children (or the imperfect children, in this case, just like ours) and the perfect pets.
We all want to be like that, and we all find it alluring.
it usually doesn’t exist. At least not the way it’s being pinned to our brains. Buying into what they say doesn t mean you will end up as happy as they appear to be, or that their lives will somehow transpose
Try to see what’s really there, do your own research. Don’t rely on press releases, or the media’s review of press releases, or sound or film bites to inform you. Do the work! Bill Clinton
and Newt Gingrich may be likable, but they re not nice guys.
This boils down to us against them, a short list of which might look something like this:
gays, illegal aliens, orientals, blacks, the poor, the rich, unions, capitalists, politicians, clergy, students,
youth, adults, parents, baby boomers, socialists, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, red necks, libtards, etc.
Influence mongers know something relevant, that regular folks don t always acknowledge.
Prejudice lives, it has many forms, and presents with many triggers.
Subtlety is the key to its effectiveness.
I remember the last presidential campaign of Jerry Brown, where he was quickly
ascending to prominent contention in the Democratic primaries.
He has a history of high character and principal, and much of his message resonated with the common folk.
In one of his televised
campaign speeches, he was appealing to an audience, among which were minorities, and in the crowd, there was a latino gentleman who was in strong vocal support of every arguing point Mr. Brown made at the podium. Brown
would make a point, and the gentleman in the crowd would resonate something to the effect, “That’s right, the people are taking over ”.
This cycle repeated multiple times. I puzzled as to why the sound
recording was picking up the man in the crowd as well as it was picking up Mr. Brown. Was he being miked?
In days following, this particular film clip played in the media, then was repeated ad nauseam
on the government channel.
By week’s end, I got it! This was no accident.
By the end of the second week, after multiple viewings, I conjectured the man in the crowd might have been a plant.
Within a month, the Brown campaign was in its death throes.
Don’t let people do this to you!
Repetition, the Power Of
The idea here is to elevate thoughts or ideas to the level of mantras. In polite jargon, they become talking points.
Examples: Weapons of mass destruction ; the liberal
media , that’s socialism , Obama care , failure of leadership , flip-flopping , Jobs Bill , Freedom Act, Death Tax, death panel, etc.
The setup on this is endless repetition by the instigator(s). Usually
this is an organization of vast size and resources such as a political party or a major corporate entity, or sometimes just a very wealthy individual. Within 24 hours of injecting one of these talking points, dozens of
talking heads are in the media reciting the mantra and driving it home. Finally, it imbeds in the listener (me and you) and takes on a life of its own, repeating and saturating its energy until it becomes the end basis
for personal opinion and decision making.
Label as euphemism: A tag which puts a positive
spin, or perhaps takes the sting out of something negative, i.e., pro choice.
Examples: Friendly fire, fog of war, collateral damage. Whenever you hear these expressions you should know that something
unbelievably stupid and horrible has happened. Draw it out, get the details, show them how to lift the fog of deception. Without you, they’ll never learn. Ask for the specifics, all of them, don’t let them
stash feces in the stew they’re spooning you.
Label as dysphemism: A tag which puts a negative spin, or sets up the subject for ridicule or rejection, pro life (implying the opposing party is pro death).
Examples: Death panel, snail mail, liberal media, Obama care,
Euphemism: freedom fighter
Objective: occupying power
Dysphemism: colonialist (or invader)
Using Symbols and Themes to Persuade
Flags, crosses, homeland security, freedom, planned parenthood, abortion, class warfare,
big spending, etc.
Themes and symbols resonate with their target audience because they start with acceptance by the target. Sort of like the salesman sticking a foot in the door so you can’t shut him out,
except in this instance, you’re voluntarily letting him in. Themes and symbols are frequently linked to stimulation and titillation to achieve their effect.
The flag and the cross have long been exploited
symbols in our culture. In recent years, opinion makers have elevated a number of words and images to status level equivalent to symbols. Words like democracy and freedom, and images of the military, or fire fighters
have become sacred icons in our consciousness. There are good reasons for this of course, and I take no issue.
Just remember that someone will eventually get around to using those symbols and themes to get
their own agenda into your head. Try to see when that is happening and weigh the facts objectively.
Yes or No of It ... There Can Only Be Yes
(aka eliminating the choices by controlling the exits)
How can you be against freedom, or firefighters, our armed services, or those who are elderly and infirm, our
children’s future, Christianity, etc.
When the policy machine and its leaders start clothing themselves in these concepts, be on guard. Try to see the big picture , what is really being decided, what will
the decision cause to happen, who will benefit, who will pay (or suffer)?
That’s what I call thinking three dimensionally. Iit roots you in the here and the now, where truth is everywhere.
This tactic is integrated with the ploy of discrediting counter argument. What do you have against freedom (or fill in the blank with the image of your choice)? This is an unanswerable and manipulative counter
and takes the focus off your adversary’s weak reasoning in a debate.
Odds and Ends
(The supporting cast)
A second point of focus is injected to distract from the material issue.
When the game is up for persons of authority, their only play is to adopt the role of marshal and give up the perps to their deserved fate. This scapegoating assures we have our
victims, and some semblance of justice and retribution, and are inclined to let the prime target off. They still have the power and no real change or solution has unfolded. Pay close attention to the Egyptian spring of
Something we all love, but hate when others seem to be fulfilling our fantasies.
There’s only one possible course of action. The one I’m selling you.
Slogans and Cliches
A good slogan is worth a thousand words. It hits like a hammer and doesn’t even have to be true.
A good cliche has its own weight, and doesn’t need the mass of a thousand words.
You understand their value, don’t you? I speak from personal experience when I say this!
The power of
words is magical. In modern politics engagement of words and adjectives which were once the exclusive domain of psyops have become the instinctive first responses of our leaders to spontaneous questions or challenges.
The classic example of this co-option of propoganda techniques into the mainstream was Newt Gingrich s GOPAC memo of the 1990's which was reportedly distributed to GOP candidates across the country (Here it
is if you want to see it: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm).
In a nutshell, ...
Words referring to us [meaning the self declared good guys ]:
share... change... opportunity... legacy... challenge... control... truth... moral... courage...
reform... prosperity... crusade... movement... children... family... debate... compete... active(ly)... we/us/our... candid(ly)... humane... pristine... provide...
liberty... commitment... principle(d)...
unique... duty... precious... premise... care(ing)... tough... listen... learn... help... lead... vision... success... empower(ment)... citizen... activist... mobilize... conflict... light... dream... freedom...
peace... rights... pioneer... proud/pride... building... preserve... pro-(issue): flag, children, environment... reform... workfare... eliminate good-time in prison... strength... choice/choose... fair...
protect... confident... incentive... hard work... initiative... common sense... passionate
Words referring to them [whoever disagrees with the self perceived good guys ]:
decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)...
destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... "compassion" is not enough... betray... consequences... limit(s)... shallow... traitors...
endanger... coercion... hypocrisy... radical... threaten... devour... waste... corruption... incompetent... permissive attitudes... destructive... impose... self-serving... greed...
ideological... insecure... anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs... pessimistic... excuses... intolerant...
stagnation... welfare... corrupt... selfish... insensitive... status quo... mandate(s)...
taxes... spend(ing)... shame... disgrace... punish (poor...)... bizarre... cynicism... cheat... steal... abuse of power... machine... bosses... obsolete... criminal rights... red tape... patronage
Want to see what you can learn about the truth if you do your homework?
Start with Field Manual 33-1-1 Psychological Operations Techniques and Procedures
Protect the Vessel.