I stumbled acoss an intriguing discussion of the strategies and tactics that are used by powerful entities and their operatives to disinform the public and to derail attempts to expose the truth. Sadly, I must admit that I've not only seen all of these strategies at work in local, state, and national politics, I have also seen them used on internet forums, such as this one.
I am presenting this information in the interest of arming those who are interested in the truth with tools that they may find useful in interactions, here, and elsewhere . . .
Cloudfire you rumor mongoring, conspiracy theorist! I am sick and tired of your paranoid drivel. Your steady drumbeat of disinformation against our loyal and educated public servants makes me weary. Our politicians sacrifice for us. LOOK they spent their entire weekend in Washington this weekend in a struggle to get us FREE healthcare. How could you question their motives with a straight face. You are uneducated and have no place discussing these issues! If it weren't for YOU there would be no homeless or drug addicts!! I grow weary of this tireless disinformational campaign and am leaving this thread. VOTE DEMOCRATIC! WE CARE!!
Oh! Never mind! I like you! Forget what I said. LOVE YA! MEAN IT!
Doc -- Purveyor of the Socratic Method and HEMLOCK
Drivel, eh? Well, you no-good-sorry-excuse-for-a-poster, why don't we just step back into the CT bin and settle this like men? . . . Wait a minute, I'm a girl . . . . . . . And, unless you're an anemic, mentally impaired bilateral amputee without a wheelchair, I'm likely to get my butt kicked . . .
Aw, shucks, Doc . . . I post this very serious topic, and you gotta laugh all over it . . . .
Apart from the last one, 'Vanish', doesn't it describe Barney Frank? Or Peter Mandelson?
What gets me is that the entire healthcare reform thing isn't about health care at all, its about how to pay for it.....another direct consequence of having a debt money system. There will always be a shortage of money.
Actually Thomas this whole healthcare plan is about how to NOT pay for healthcare. The amount of money we ordinary Plebians are spending on our own healthcare is seriously dragging on the amount of money the bankers and corporate types can stuff in their pockets.
Excellent post Cloudfire. This is one I printed out. Last night I had a 1 1/2 hour late night phone discussion with the person who was my primary mentor. He is highly intelligent but even more importantly, he is probably one of the wisest human beings I've ever met. I've always had the greatest respect for his opinions and insights. In the course of our talk about events going on in the world at large, however, I was told that my statements amd attitude were "negative" and "depressing" and I was buying into and propagating conspiracy theories (which, of course, because they are conspiracy theories, must be untrue) ... all of which, if I consider it objectively, is true ... BUT I'm certainly not going to deny the facts and what is occurring. What truly shocked me was his statement that, even if what I was saying was true, what would I or what would we, the public, be able to do about it. He dismissed the issues as worldly whereas his concerns are more spiritual. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. I could go on and on but this article will provide me with some valuable information to further educate him about what is happening. Thanks for all your work. It is greatly appreciated.
Ive had plenty of experience with these certain "spiritual types" that dismiss negative future forecasts as "worldy" and respond with "what can you do about it anyways". These all knowing types are showing their arrogance by dismissing these topics because they dont know what your talking about and thus become angry because you know something that they dont. Also, they are intellectually lazy because they dont invest the time to learn about the unsustainable monetary system or peak oil, which are pretty complicated issues.
A good analogy is the famine. Suppose there was a famine coming because of underproduction of food and you had knowledge of it. Wouldnt it be wise to prepare and store away some extra food because of the impending famine? These peoples responses are basically "well the famine is coming and we are going to sit here and do nothing because we cant stop the famine from coming". Ok then, the warnings are here, there is a big chance of a modern day famine coming and they choose not to listen or learn about it. Perhaps we are wrong about this famine, but even if we are wrong at least we will hopefully have all this extra food! But if we are right then woe to those who are caught unprepared. Kind of like the parable of the virgins that were waiting for the king late at night. 5 of them had extra oil for their lamps, but the other 5 didnt prepare. When the king came he could only see the 5 that had light from the lamps because they were prepared. The other were shit out of luck.
Tying that parable back to the original topic..
Perhaps some of the foolish virgins were too distracted by paranoia, fear and idle speculation to waste time on mundane things like oil...
If you want to obsess over the dark arts of propaganda and manipulation, google Bernays, Chomsky, and Cialdini.. for starters.
Personally I view it as a monumental excercise in futility... and not germane to the purpose of this particular site.
Yes Plato: bottom line is that propagandists win because people accept the bs.
Gotta love the parable tho. JC had some truly amazing wisdom.
Thanks for the demonstration of belittling as a means of discreditation, Plato . . . Let's see, here's some high-charge condescending descriptors: "paranoia", "idle speculation", "mundane", "futility", "not germane" . . . I was going to include the author's examples of each tactic, but you've offered a fine example for us . . . . and the raison d’être for a thread like this one . . . . Thanks!
If you want to obsess over the dark arts of propaganda and manipulation, google Bernays, Chomsky, and Cialdini.. for starters.
On the contrary, I think understand the methodology of people like Bernays is essential in critically assessing the validity of information one comes across, including information germane to the purpose of this particular site. By considering it "a monumental exercise in futility" you do exactly what they what you to do. Perhaps we should extend that reading list to include Pavlov. Ding, ding.
I'm with you. Your analogy is very close to one that I gave him in response to that statement about worldly vs. spiritual. He seemed increasingly more receptive the more information I provided him with but there was still scepticism. Also, he's already fairly well positioned to handle what's coming so he doesn't have the same degree of concern most individuals would.
That article reminds me of recent debates I've had with certain individuals in internet forums regarding the events surrounding 9/11.
Yep, they pull all of their tricks out on that one . . . It was public mass murder, and I have little doubt that the perps have full time operatives trying to field the internet chatter.
I've enjoyed hearing everybody's stories . . . Once you're tuned in to these tactics, you'll find that you can spot them, and field them more successfully. The most powerful way to shortcircuit obfuscation behaviors is to "out" them, call them for what they are, and return to the subject at hand. (see preceding demo) The most difficult situation is when disinformants work as teams, each using a tactic, and supporting one another in their ploys, so that it looks like a "grassroots" sort of opposition. However, a public that understands that these kind of organized propaganda efforts exist are well armed to spot them, and to look even harder for what is being covered up, rather than being thrown off of the trail.
Hey Cloudfire. Could you possibly post your articles here instead of just self promoting your site. I know you're no disinformant but you're following some of the traits of a comment spammer.
But seriously. I enjoy following your commentary but don't make users leave the site. It's not like you've copywritten your content and will sue yourself.
PS: I'm only saying this as I'm somewhat experienced in website usability/accessibility issues. Please don't take it personally. I'm just trying to help keep up the quality of this site.
You're certainly entitled to your views. But I wonder what your reasoning is.
I have to assume most people who visit this site with any regularity do so because they no longer have confidence in the mainstream media. You don't think it's significant that the media completely ignores peak oil? You don't find it curious that they completely missed the economic meltdown, while bloggers like Chris Martenson, who predicted it accurately and well in advance, can be found all over the net? And you don't think it's significant that a recurring theme in so many of Chris's blogs concerns his constant struggle to decipher the disinformation put out by Wall Street and the government - "fuzzy numbers" as he calls it in the Crash Course? ... Some of us do. That's all.
To be sure, I wasn't completely impressed with Mr Sweeny's article - some of it seemed a little obvious, and some of it seemed so broad as to potentially ensnare any of us, definitely including me! But here's something I liked a lot:
We are all just here just seeking the truth. Why does that bother you?
No offense taken, Ruhh . . . I prefer to post primarily on my site, and leave links that might interest my friends here, as a courtesy. I make no money, and allow no advertising on my blog. I am only interested in propagating truth and helping people to navigate this very difficult world. I also have my links open in a new window, so that you are not actually navigating away from this site when you click on my links. Another reason that I post links is that I sometimes want to post lengthy material that might contribute to the much bemoaned bogging down of this site. I post on many subjects on my blog, but I only post links here for issues that I think will have a broad appeal on CM. I consider it courteous to simply post a well-described link, and give people the option to click, or not, rather than to splash my stuff all over the thread.
Navigating to my blog is no more tedious than navigating elsewhere, and this method allows me to post more quickly, so that I can keep up with important issues, like the swine flu epidemic, as they unfold. I try very hard to remain within CM policy by avoiding "naked links", so that you can have a general idea of the material you will see if you click on one of my links. I believe that the time I take to condense the vast amount of information that is in cybernews and the blogosphere far outweighs the inconvenience of having to click on one extra link.
I hope this makes my reasoning clear, and I am sorry for any inconvenience.
To be sure, I wasn't completely impressed with Mr Sweeny's article - some of it seemed a little obvious, and some of it seemed so broad as to potentially ensnare any of us . . .
I agree, Greg . . . But, also note that he also included this caveat: "Accusations should not be overused. Rather, they should be reserved for repeat offenders and those who use multiple tactics". I take this to be an indication that Mr. Sweeny recognizes that one must use prudent judgment in using these guidelines in calling individuals on the carpet. Certainly, some of these tactics are sometimes used with good intention. Therefore, one must look at patterns of behavior that indicate a possible underlying motive to obscure the truth . . .
"You don't think it's significant that the media completely ignores peak oil? You don't find it curious that they completely missed the economic meltdown,"
I think it's very significant... I realised what a manipulative crock of organic fertiliser the media was about 15 years ago.... something of an epiphany..
Then I read Plato's Republic, and all sorts of stuff began to make sense...but that's another story..
But, I have problems with the "alternative mainstream" too.. why escape one box, only to imprison yourself in another...
Whether some of the darker CT stuff is official disinfo or simply the result of people "gazing too long into the abyss" and sharing their worst fears.
. Either way, I see excessive mistrust/paranoia however hyper-rational and methodical as a dangerous trap.. and the wrong path.
( The power of Nightmares & The Trap - Adam Curtis ).
Cloudfires double bind over the swine flu is a prime example.. alternating between fear of the flu and fear of the vaccine.
Amassing evidence for both suspicions... I know how that game ends... it doesn't !
So for me the sane thing to do is adopt a strategy that fits my beliefs and quit worrying.
In my case the strategy is:
Avoid the vaccine, but if I notice mainly unvaccinated people dropping like flies.. reassess. Solved. Next !!
As a poker player I'm used to thinking strategically about problems with incomplete information, and the futility of trying to overanalyse intractable problems. - The paralysis of analysis (tm).
besides.. isnt it better to share solutions and strategies than fears ?
Slightly off topic, but this Ted talk impressed me... using the "dark arts" for good...
besides.. isnt it better to share solutions and strategies than fears ?
There's certainly a good deal of wisdom in this post. But what you might want to keep in mind is that the paradigm that works best for you - and which certainly makes sense - may not be for everyone. Some people need to go down the rabbit hole. And I'm glad they do. I think it's sad that we live in a world so rife with corruption and deception that there are almost no limits to what we can contemplate. And so I mock no one for their fears, even if they may seem irrational at times. Nor do I mock those who others derisively refer to as the "sheeple." Education isn't supposed to be indoctrination. We should be able to trust our government and the media. I don't blame the people, The world isn't supposed to be like this.
You ask, "isn't it better to share solutions and strategies than fears?" And I agree. It's just that it didn't seem like your earlier post was doing that. Instead you seemed to be mocking Cloudfire and the forum, which I don't think serves any constructive purpose. I happen to think exploring the dark side is important - we need to know what we're up against - but you're right, we need to be careful we don't allow it to consume us. So thanks for your thoughtful response. Those of us with more deeply cynical views certainly can always benefit from a little perspective.
Thanks, Greg. Here's the thing . . . Until these things play out, no one knows the definition of cynical . . . Are the possibilities I present extreme? . . . or will they, in the end, prove to be conservative? . . . Perspective can only be had in retrospect . . . I'm willing to consider the entire gamut of possibilities, and I've been overtly clear, all along, that I don't know which of the theories is correct. I'd rather be prepared, mentally and physically, for all possibilities. If no ill comes, then I've wasted a bit of time and money. If the worst comes, the unprepared die.
I neither obsess about these things, nor do they depress me. They are, as they say, what they are. Because I have the ability to do so, I have been reviewing the available information on the swine flu pandemic, and presenting it to folks, leaving the conclusions and decisions up to them. I see much potential for danger on the horizon at this juncture. I making preparations, for myself and my family, to mitigate all possibilities, as once the danger is obvious, it's too late for preparation. If I fail to share my concerns with others, I fail in loving my neighbor. I'd rather risk ridicule . . .
I think you probably know, I've got no problems with anything you're doing here. I fully support ALL your explorations. I'm probably a little less conspiratorial (if that's a word) than you are, but on the issue of shutting down these kinds of discussions, I'm firmly in the camp of people like you, DrKirbyLuv, and Strabes. In fact I think all the tension about this subject a while back, discouraged me from visiting the site much for a while - which is ironic, since I remember imploring Strabes not to let that happen to him!
. . . no one knows the definition of cynical . . .
I agree, but I'm pretty sure I'm a good example of it!
. . .Perspective can only be had in retrospect . . .
Of course, in retrospect we always know more and see a more complete picture, but being mindful of history and context can sometimes go a long way towards the same thing. I was once on a very active thread where everyone was getting increasingly hysterical about the Patriot Act, FISA and so on, when some guy who was way ahead of the rest of us came on and just rattled of a list of historical constitutional abuses that made Bush suddenly look average. It went something like this: Jackson told the Supreme Court to go screw themselves - Lincoln suspended habeas corpus - Wilson jailed the war protesters and muzzled the press with the Sedition Act of 1918 - FDR confiscated the peoples gold, interred the Japanese(Americans), and threatened to stack the court - And these were supposed to be some of our best presidents! I found it oddly comforting. And that was the end of the thread.
Here's another related post I put up today you might find interesting. http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/bankers-own-you/31192?page=1 (#19) My best effort to put an Alex Jones rant in "perspective."
Hi again, Greg;
Yes, oppressive executive acts are not quite so in-your-face these days. . . rather, they are more insidious, and that is just the problem. TPTB have become ever more skilled in making their machinations invisible to some, tolerable to most, and even loved by the truly hypnotized. They've largely done this through marketing: war is peace, brainwashing is education, poverty is sustainability, and murder is population control . . .
I do like your post concerning Alex Jones . . . It's been a while, but I've gone on record a few times saying that I will not listen to him, and reject him as a spokesman for truth. I believe that he paints a rather ugly face on the truth movement, and in any case, I'd not have him as a personal friend. Alex is sloppy with checking his stories, and has demonstrated a willingness to sensationalize bad news to goose business for his station's owner, Ted Anderson, who sells gold at absurdly high margins to the uninitiated. Alex is obnoxious and abrasive, and he has associations whose motives are less than laudatory. There are believable accounts, within his industry, of Alex's having gotten his start by nefarious means. I also think that his overall demeanor inspires rage more than outrage, and that is a dangerous distinction to miss . . .
Sadly, I think that to some degree, Alex can accurately be called a disinformant. While he does succeed in waking some people up, if they stay stuck in his ranting and limited focus, they often end up being swallowed up by their own anger. We've seen a few crash-and-burn examples of that, here on CM. Also, as you mentioned, Alex has a narrow focus in understanding the structure of what we're up against . . . This incomplete picture undermines true understanding of our predicament, and also weakens the credibility of the truth movement, as entire swaths of the power structure and mechanisms are ignored.
For all I know, Alex is a straw man operative of TPTB . . . He's sucked up much of the truth movement light into his particular black hole . . . and he's very easy to discredit at any moment that TPTB desire it . . . . This is perhaps the most important reason not to associate ourselves with Alex or any other single high-profile figure. Truth is truth . . . it doesn't need a rock-star earthly champion . . . Rather, it needs an army of individuals who are brutal with themselves and others in ferreting out the truth, and in speaking it openly. As in physical guerilla warfare (which I do not advocate), diffuseness is our friend . . .
cloud: +1000 on the alex jones scepticism.... with you totally on that one. And well described....
pied piper of nihilism...
Almost certainly sincere.. nobody is that good at acting.....
but misguided.. and misguiding millions..
Because he never examines his basic premises....
premise numero uno - TPTB are evil... I'd imagine they are something like us, if more jaded and strategic...
possibly even more idealistic ... but still fallible... hey, who isn't..
Once you insert a lie as a foundational axiom..
no matter how logical and meticulous you are.. you end up describing a warped space.
cf Lobachevskian geometry vs Euclidean...
On the subject of foraying into non-Euclidean geometry, I look at TPTB as somewhat akin to a Mobius strip. No matter which turns or twists you take with them, you come back to the same place ... they're evil ... otherwise stated as "By their fruits you will know them".
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