The Tactics Used Against Us
Note: The following list has been extracted in part from the The Way: Life Manual: Information & The Tactics Used Against Us. This section is being developed - It will be edited and posted with quick links so its more useful soon. Please bear with us!
“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny.
Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship”. - Bruce Coville
We live in a world where information is power. The better informed you are with the truth and facts, the better decisions you can make. The beliefs of large groups of people can create an unbelievable bounty for us all or plummet our world into war. At this time, the general information we all need to make informed decisions is greatly controlled and influenced by people.
Control of information covers:
- What is conveyed to us?
- What is not conveyed to us?
- How it’s conveyed or the context in which it’s placed?
In fact, there are those who look to control and manipulate the information we receive, so we do what they want. This is one of the largest problems in the world where a few, work to impose their world view on all of us instead of working for Truth. Often, it’s those in positions of power who use information to get something for a few at the expense of the many.
Below is a list of tactics that are used to lead you from the truth, fact, knowledge, reason, logic, and wisdom. Many of the tactics outlined are used by people, organizations, and governments purposely to divide us. They often tap into your basic feelings of fear, anger, or sex to manipulate, confuse, and divide us. This is because the more fearful, angry, or sexually frustrated and smaller groups we are divided into, the easier it is for the powerful to manipulate you into doing what they want.
It’s important that you and everyone know of all the tactics used against us, for this knowledge allows all of us to call out and shut down those looking to manipulate people for their own ends. Also, it allows you to remove these ingrained, learned, and habitual tactics you use from within your personal communication and your organizations. We must overcome this information pollution created by these tactics by labeling it, removing it, and by not creating it or sharing it. This is key if we are to create the “True Society.”
Ad hominem is appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect. This is attacking an opponent's character rather than answering a question directly. This does not move anything forward. Nothing of the issue is dealt with. Often the words used are chosen to:
- Incite a group of people to do as they want;
- To get the speaker out of answering a question, they can’t.
Anti-intellectualism is being against logic, reason, knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom. These people look down on other people who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and wise. They work to convince us that all that education is bad for us and destroy our systems. They tell us about how much simpler and better life was “back then.”
Usually, this perspective gains traction when tied to the spiritual or religious, as this perspective allows many to “feel superior” over those they actually “feel inferior,” too. They feel inferior because they do not feel they are equal to their intelligence and look down on others to feel good about themselves. Anti-intellectualism is often tied to a person’s inability to stop focusing on feelings of jealousy and envy by instead focusing on the “10 Laws” and the virtues of love and self-development.
If those in power are anti-intellectual, it either means they want you to be easy to manipulate, or you are going to be led by those who don’t know how to do the job for we need smart, educated people doing the complex jobs well.
Those who want to live simple lives as they were in the past or some other form can do so. There are communities all over the world that anyone can join. They can even start their own. There is only an issue when these people want to force everyone to live their way while they take control.
History has shown us that when anyone wants to do away with checks and balances, educators, scientists, and other systems of knowledge, they are looking to control us, not help us.
Note: Being pro-intelligence, well-reasoned, and logical means you are looking to find answers, facts, truth, and solutions, whether it be simple or complex. It has nothing to do with judgments, sides, right or wrong.
Antithesis is taking the opposite view no matter what the issue is. This is where the other person or group is wrong on “everything.” This can lead to a division, demonization, and hate of “them.” This division and expressions of anger that follow are what those who use this tactic are after because it allows them to be seen as part of the group by sharing a common cause and a common enemy with the group that they want to have following them.
It also allows them to appear to be on the side of this group and a leading voice in their cause. This tactic helps the spread of untruths to all people who hold these people as authority figures.
Apophasis raising an issue by claiming not to mention it. For example, someone might say, “I’m not going to mention your outrageous and outdated child-rearing methods.”
By doing so, they not only raise the issue but do so in a dismissive and condescending way. This can allow for untruths and snide remarks to pass without discussion, thereby discussing it without claiming to do so.
Often referred to as guilt by association. Association is where someone knows or listened to someone, often of some negative notoriety. They use this fact to make it seem as though there is a similarity between them. In today’s world, this is often done with pictures, as often the famous will take pictures with people they don’t know, yet those people can claim they are close using the picture as proof.
For example, Mr. X is an extremist and preaches hate. Mr. Johns knows Mr. X. Since Mr. Johns knows Mr. X, he is also an extremist and hates. The problem is that we can know people and even listen to them without liking or agreeing with them.
Belief & Faith
Here they use our beliefs and faith to get something else out of us. Often those seeking or who are in power claim a faith in order to automatically get every one of that group to follow them. As in “I am part of your faith,” or “I am just like you, so you need to follow me because I am one of you, and I will fight our enemies.”
Just because someone claims to have the same faith as you do, does not mean they automatically get your allegiance. Actions speak louder than words, and leaders of our world need to do a lot more than claim to believe in one religion or another.
Bio Response tactics use your natural reactions against you. For example, the use of nudity or trauma will often force a reaction.
This is why advertising is so heavily saturated with sexuality, and the “news” is so heavily focused on providing all the horrors.
Bubble news is when you get only the news that confirms what you believe. This type of news is often not the full truth but instead a distorted version taken out of context designed to feed you the information you want in order to control your view of the world.
While sorting information is key to your ability to understand, you can’t lose the real context and the whole truth in the process. You can’t only accept information that matches your opinions and desires. Being closed-minded and unreasoned only leads you away from your “True Self” and makes you easy to manipulate. This confuses your collective understanding and action, which leads to bad choices and damages our society as a whole.
Far better to be able to take in new true facts and change than to stagnate in lies. Real complete factual news within true context and not opinion is key because we need a baseline of facts to insure, we are collectively making informed and correct decisions and not being used by a few.
Bullies often use real or implied force to get their way. Bullies mock, belittle, ridicule, demean, disparage, deride, berate, put down, make fun of, call people names, cut people off, yell, get mad easily, use real or implied force to get their way and generally harass other people.
They will often say something hurtful followed by saying, “just joking”. They do the “just joking” so their victim will not object. They often try to incite others to follow them and will hurt those who try to stand up to them to dissuade other people from helping.
Most bullies are really cowards who pick on those they feel are weaker or “inferior” in some way. They do this because they have been twisted into thinking this makes them superior. This feeling of superiority brings with it good feelings. To be clear bullies have a malformed sense of sympathy and empathy and have not learned proper self-control. The way they are treating others can also reflect how they feel about themselves and their own inner dialog.
Understanding this allows us to find solutions. The fact is we can manage bullies so they can't do damage and prevent bullies from developing through proper raising of our child. For more information and solutions see “The Child & Family Guide: Bully Correction & Support for Their Victims” and “Our Practice: Emotional Practice”.
Calumny is a misrepresentation intended to harm another's reputation. This is when someone makes false statements, levies false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation. Often this is done by some to tarnish someone who is trying to do something good.
For example, within the USA if someone is arrested for any crime, it can be discussed in the media. This means that anyone who can get someone charged or arrested can lambast them 24/7 as if they actually committed a crime.
This can go on for as long as the court preceding takes, which can be years. So even if the person is found innocent because of mistaken identity, or innocents and the real criminal is found, they are still tarnished as being a criminal in the eyes of the world.
True justice would only permit public discussion of a case if the person approves or if they are found guilty. In no case, should anyone bring up false charges against someone, just so it can be discussed.
Can’t Do Anything Yet
“We can’t or shouldn’t do anything because we don’t know everything.” “We can’t clean up that mess until we know exactly how bad it is”. Both are examples of this type of stalling tactic. The fact is it is not true, as often we can start on any project without knowing every detail. Even if it’s to get properly setup to find the answers. This tactic is used to stall or prevent change or to continue something. This tactic is often used when dealing with cleaning up a mess a government or corporation has made.
If you are so set in in our beliefs that no fact will ever change it, you are closed minded. Often leaders who want us to conform to their way of thinking will make being closed minded as a great strength or virtue, so they can control us by saying, “Don’t listen to them or read anything they say”. They tell us that all we need to do is listen to them and read what they tell us. Often this is jokingly referred to as “Don’t confuse me with the facts”.
Complexity is when something is presented in a deliberately complex manner. They try to overwhelm and make it seem like this is something we just can’t comprehend so we need them to help us or that there is so much that everything is unclear and confused when it really is not.
The old saying divide and conquer still holds true. If we are confused, often we will make the choice an authority figure tells us to, or we do nothing. A confused populous is divided and can’t make informed decisions. Those who use this tactic are looking to “muddy the waters”, so nothing gets done and they can continue doing as they always have.
The context of a situation matters. Someone keeps advertising against a candidate saying how we can’t trust him as treasurer when he failed every math test. However, the tests he failed where in the 3rd grade and he was very ill. Later he went on to gain a master’s degree in math. If someone just says he failed at math without outlining the whole situation, it is a “context mismatch”. This tactic is used to make someone look bad when there is nothing really there to point to.
Contradiction/Equal & Opposite Facts
A contradiction is also known as a logical incongruity and they imply both the truth and falsity of something. A contradiction cannot be true and there are none that exist in nature.
There is no such thing as a logical contradiction. Holding contradictory values is irrational and creates confusion. Contradictions can’t stand up to scrutiny.
Example of contradiction:
- Tom is married to Sally, but Sally is not married to Tom.
- I love and hate you.
There cannot be contradictory “facts” or a “different” final number. If there is a difference, we need to look at which variables are changing the outcome for often disagreements come from the parties using different fact bases. Also, it’s important to separate our interpretation from the fact.
For example, we need to find the real numbers first without bias. Once we have them, we can then work toward interpretations and solutions.
The first rule is to always get to the root facts and lay them all out, so we can find where the discrepancy lies. It does not matter who is in error. Working to understand the differing fact bases is at the core of both parties ending contradiction and finding real solutions.
We must want to know the truth even if it goes against what we want to be true or our world view. The truth or fact is more important for only then can we reach true agreement and consensus and become better people.
Cop out is a tactic used to make the person seem great. Everything that is good they did by themselves and everything bad was someone else’s fault. If they get a handout, they deserved it and if others do, they are takers.
- I built my business into a success
- This does not account for all the other people who were part of it or all the money he got from his parents.
- I failed at my business and it was the government’s fault.
- This perspective does not account for all the mistakes they made.
Deflect & Replace
Deflect and replace occurs when those who seem at fault do not answer directly but instead try to point to something else as being more wrong so that this new issue will replace the original issue.
For example, a reporter is asking a question to a politician, “You have been found meeting with a person shortly after they committed a crime, and they said they gave you information related to that crime. You are on video and it shows this meeting took place”. “How do you respond?”
The politician answers, “First, we are proceeding with a suit against the illegal surveillance as this is a crime against all who hold freedom sacred, and we will fight for the rights of all people. As to your fake news claim, it’s clear you are not a real reporter and you are only trying to mislead our people. You should be ashamed”.
Denial/Can’t Be True
Denial is the refusal to admit the truth or reality. Normally this is tied to things we don’t want to believe are true because they challenge our belief system, require great change, go against our authority figure’s view or will be very expensive or painful. We cannot let the cost or consequences lead us away from truth. Often, those who are in denial hold back solutions that would allow us to continue on a better path.
For example, the fact is that the protection used by those who play “American Football” is insufficient and can cause severe brain injury. Many spent years denying this fact because they thought it would mean the end of the game. Instead, it changed the way we play and created better protective gear.
The fact is that certain chemicals in spray cans were destroying the ozone layer within our atmosphere. Many denied this, claimed it was a lie, even claiming that if we took action economies would collapse, that it’s too big, too expensive, and beyond the control of man. However, once known and accepted, nations got together and found safe alternatives to these harmful chemicals and today the ozone layer has greatly recovered.
On a social level, denial is dangerous when leaders embrace it or when we follow leaders who do.
Disinformation is when false information is deliberately and often covertly spread by the planting of rumors in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth. Also see misinformation and lying.
Delusion is a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. It can be repeated over and over by authority figures to implant fiction for fact, so they can get their way.
Distraction and diversion are things that interfere with or diverts our attention or concentration away from what is really important.
Not all ideas, evidence, creeds or beliefs should be given the same weight or compared as equals. Comparing two ideas as if they are both equal is not a legitimate way to disseminate knowledge because it makes it seem that there is equivalence even when there is not. See “Fuel: Information: Logic: Reason: Quantitative vs. Qualitative Reasoning” for more.
There cannot be two opposing facts on every subject. Often media will present us with so called equal and opposite experts. This makes it seem like experts, scientists and others can’t agree and that it is a 50/50 split. Therefore, either side could be right.
For example, having a new debate where we put up equal experts, one with a theory the earth is a sphere rotating around the sun and the other that the earth is flat and at the center with everything rotating around it. Today this would seem ludicrous as its common knowledge which is true. However, in the past many were killed for suggesting the truth.
This tactic is used today to make something seem equal, so they can dismiss the issue. Like comparing what a group of well-known scientists agree on to a group of non-scientists. Often, they start off saying something like, I’m not a scientist, or I’m not a doctor but…. Then they go on to say why their contradictory view is correct. This is especially a problem when our news is framed with equivalency.
Evil intent is taking what someone says and then twisting it to mean the worst thing possible. It can be compared to something very extreme.
For example, someone says, “I think all children should go to good schools” and they say, “So you are like Hitler and want to control and force all the children to do your bidding” or “I would like better health care as this system is not working”, and they say, “So you don’t want any doctors or health care and you want to just leave people to fend for themselves”.
Everyone is evil because you view their actions form your own negative point view. As in everyone must be a conniving, cheating, deceitful, lying, rank climbing, game playing manipulator because you are.
Exaggeration is when the effects of the fact or truth are blown so far out of proportion that they seem detrimental, wrong or bad, and therefore should not be considered.
For example, they complain and carry on that cleaning up our trash and pollution will bankrupt us all when the opposite is true.
Fake news is news on a subject or person that is not real but is presented as truth. Fake news is like propaganda, lies and other tactics. Fake news picked up by legitimate news outlets is damaging to the public perception of reality and impacts our decision-making abilities. Fake news is usually either created to make money by playing on a fear or belief or to confuse and manipulate people into thinking a certain way.
Fake news and all propaganda are a threat to a stable society as it undermines common fact and truth pitting people against one another. Unity, peace, trust, and a good society depend on shared facts and truth.
However, just because it is labeled “Fake News” by an authority figure does not mean it is. Many call fake news any news they do not like or that goes against what they want to be true. They do this because they want us to disregard the real story because it goes against their plans.
A fallacy is an error in logic or reasoning that leads to an argument supported by illogical or misleading premises. It can come in the form of sweeping generalizations, appeals to emotion or authority, assumptions of causality, and a variety of other statements based outside of logic.
The intentional use of fallacy is done to lead people from the truth. This can come in the form of bearing false witness against others with the goal of tarnishing their reputation or hurting them in some way. See “Fuel: Information: Logic, Paradox & Fallacy” for more.
Fraud is deceit and trickery intentionally designed as a perversion of the truth and facts in order to induce another person to part with something of value, surrender a legal right or to get someone to believe in something. This is all done so they can manipulate people into doing something they want. If one attains a win, love, money, or fame through fraud, cheating, or dishonesty, the attainment has no real value for only what we earn through merit has meaning.
Many use the word “freedom” as a rallying cry to end all “government” interference and regulation. They paint all regulations and controls as an impediment to business and the rights of people to just be free. The truth is that this tactic is used by those in power to take away protections, so they can do as they wish without regard or consequences.
Let there be no mistake, those who want to end “all” regulation and who paint governments working for the people as an evil really just want the wealthy and powerful to be able to do as they wish to the rest of us and our world without a care or consequences. This is not freedom for all, but just freedom for the few. Freedom requires clear, sensible regulations and checks and balances as no one is beyond corruption or mistakes.
Hate is intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, misunderstanding or a sense of injury. Those who stir up hate do so by name calling, making the “others” seem less than human by saying things like “all those people” or “they are nothing but animals”. Usually this works because the other group does not look like or believe as the first group. We often see this type of tactic used on “Hate Radio” where people do nothing but talk bad about other people and institutions. The end goal is to make their listeners hatful and fearful so they will do as they told.
Hate Speech as Free Speech
While the right of free speech relies on all being able to express themselves, we have imposed limits.
For example, we are not allowed to yell “fire” in a crowded place because of the risk of injury, nor are we allowed to slander people.
In our age free speech is being used to protect hate, misogyny, tyrants, liars, false and misleading propaganda masquerading as news, and other injustices.
While we must all work to protect free speech, free does not mean equal as in we have the right and moral imperative to marginalize, shout down, peacefully protest, boycott and prevent hate, lies and other negative society groups from gaining equal access and time on public platforms.
This fight is not about creating laws to prevent people from speaking up. It’s about “we the people” taking a stand, speaking louder, peacefully protesting and changing minds so that our collective positive “will” wins out over the negative. If we are successful, this might mean that the other negative groups or people are no longer invited to speak, or an event is canceled.
In these cases, this means that the protest was successful. Note that some will argue that all should speak and have their ideas heard so that this way of thinking can be shown to be false. The problem with allowing the liars, negative and hate groups equal time and access to legitimate venues, often there is no way to compare and contrast, and the negative speakers can be very charismatic using lies, misleading information and other tactics to sway the listeners.
This means that because we have given them equal time and a legitimate venue to speak, we are helping to legitimize their ideas and some listeners will be swayed by their negative ideas. In the end, we must protect free speech so that all may be heard. At the same time, we the people must act to prevent hate, lies, inequality and other negative speech and ways of being from becoming normalized and acceptable. Here it’s better to relegate old hateful ways of thinking to textbooks so they are not forgotten and can be presented in the right context instead of actively letting deluded people spread these lies and infect young minds with old hatred’s over and over again.
Illusion is the action of deceiving or presenting false information or ideas. Something that appears to exist or to be one thing when it is really another. This is often used to hide the truth and fact because if known it would have a very bad effect. We can see this in commercials run by companies who often destroy, pollute and poison us as they often show pristine nature and position themselves as protectors of our natural world instead of one of its primary destroyers.
Indoctrination are moral, philosophical, habits, actions and ways of doing things that have been conditioned into your way of being either intentionally or unintentionally by the people and environment in which you are raised.
It is important that we all understand what we have been indoctrinated to believe. To do so, we can test your beliefs against your core beliefs, conscience and true desires. Indoctrination can be used by any group such as countries, businesses, and political parties to get people to believe and act as the leaders want.
Example: There are those in some countries who are told that other countries want to kill them and hate them. This allows the leaders of these countries to isolate their people and educate them to believe anything they want. This separation and only source of information indoctrinates the people into thinking and doing what the leaders want.
Understanding how we have been indoctrinated requires us to look at competing views on all the major topics of life such as politics, religion, equality, our world, and weighing them according to our logical reasonable moral evaluation. See “The Way: Step 4: Center” for more.
- You might be living in a place where certain types of self-mutilation are a custom and is seen as holy. However, in the rest of the world and in reality, it’s a horrible crime and unhealthy for the person.
- We see our form of government or party as the best and having all the answers while all others are filled with despicable people out to control and destroy us.
You must know if you are doing something because of your choice or because others around you are doing it. Are you blindly following someone you should not or are you choosing your path?
Prejudice, racism, closed mindedness, and inability to reason are learned behaviors. Knowing how people are indoctrinating our children allows us to stop the process of passing on negative traits, generation to generation.
The insignificant is being made significant usually by an opponent or the media to distract us from what is really important. To put it another way, insignificant focus is not giving enough focus to what is truly important. These usually consist of meaningless things that they want to make meaningful while information we really need is not discussed or is glossed over quickly.
For example, newscasters who talk about who was wearing what, take afront to what was not said, or focus on how “so and so” sounded rather than discussing what was said or real issues.
Being intentionally obtuse is lacking sharpness or quickness of intellect. This feigned ignorance, stupidity, innocence is done to change the subject and deflect away from the real issue or to interject some confusion or misinformation into the discussion often to hide something or to further an alternative agenda.
Intimidation usually involves threats, implied or explicit to stop someone or group from taking action or speaking out. Intimidation becomes very powerful in the hands of governments, religions and others who will imprison, burn, shoot, or behead anyone who disagrees with them. No true religion or good organization uses intimidation as a tactic to gain followers. Use of this tactic not only stops that person but many others who then are fearful of speaking out or taking action. See “Bullying” above in this list.
Belief that only likeminded people are worth listening to. This normally means you are closed minded and only want to hear information that support what you already think or fits in with your beliefs. This is a very dangerous way of being as you can be misled and never know it. No idea is worth anything if it can’t stand up to a challenge of conscience, reason and logic.
Lying is telling of false statements and untruthfulness. This also includes lies or falsification by omission. Lying is information provided without including all the facts and/or twisting their context. This is usually done to manipulate the listener into believing the speaker, so they can get away with something or to look better. Lying can also be used to confuse, mislead, and besmirch another’s reputation and more. In the end lying is at the heart of all the tactics within this list.
Often organizations who want to mislead and confuse will use authority figures who then repeat a lie over and over. As manipulators know, if enough authority figures tell the same lies over and over for long enough, people will believe them the more they are heard.
This blatant disregard for virtue often this leads good people to despair. Many of us believe a lot of things that are not true simply because the good have not denounced and stopped the liars.
Example: A few repeat the false claim that if we raise wages, we will lose jobs or prices will go up. In fact, the very foundation of capitalism is the complete opposite. The more we pay people at the bottom up to a certain level, the more they buy. More consumers mean more growth. This growth creates jobs because of more demand. Demand spurs innovative business methods and scaling abilities which improve the products and services. This new level of development cause prices to go down and living standards to go up. The rise of the middle class in America between 1930 and 1975 is a good example of this process.
However, it is noted that with greater demand of a scarce item prices may rise until supply is increased or alternatives are found. In any case if people are paid appropriately, they can afford the increase which will spur the process.
This tactic is usually used by those who don’t understand that the primary focus of business is the product/people and want to justify stealing wealth from those who do the work and from our natural world.
The true leading cause of death in the world is caused by administering the wrong or counterfeit medicine, bad procedures, and infection caught in hospitals and other medical facilities. However, this information is rarely disclosed and normally does not appear on the lists outlining the “leading causes of death”.
At this time, the leading causes of death are medical mishaps, cancer, respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and influenza.
To manipulate is to use an unfair manner to influence someone’s behavior or emotions so they do what you want. You can see this clearly as politicians use your passion on issues like abortion, sex, safety, guns, and religion as the only issue that matters when voting. However, what we really need are people in positions of power within our society and especially in our government with the skills to do the whole job and not just care about one vote on one issue.
Meaning vs. Facts
Fact is what happened. The Meaning we take away from a fact or truth is an interpretation. These interpretations are often slanted to make us think the way the person wants. Opinions are not equal to facts.
Example: The leader of America flew to another country for a meeting. One newscaster says he did this to escape answering any questions about an issue of the moment when in fact the trip was scheduled 8 months ago. Often opponents will take a legitimate true fact and then create a meaning for it that twists it into something negative.
Media Programing Thinking & Behaviors
Most entertainment media such as music, dramas, comedies, action, reality, and child programing while currently considered fun to watch or listen too are not models of behavior we should emulate in real life. If accepted as models, these behaviors can hurt our growth and relationships, especially for children. This is because a lot of programing focuses on the negative and ways not to be. As in mocking, lying, outing of secrets, fighting, violence, miscommunication, violence, stealing/thief, liking junk food, laziness, and other negative behaviors.
Media, politicians and others use kernels of truth in blatant attempts to mislead. These mischaracterizations give us a flavor of truth but with the goal to mislead or to distract.
- News Flash, “Senator X was found at a crack house” film at 11”.
- What they did not say is that he was there with the police to close it down and build a park.
- Johnson was in an accident after going to a bar.
- The fact is he was sober and went to a bar to pick someone up who was drinking and was then hit by someone else.
- In an interview, Senator says, “I would never say XYZ”.
- The next day it is reported that Senator said XYZ.
- They just left out the part where he said, “I would never say”.
- We must be careful of sarcasm for sarcasm can be found in the tone and body language and not in the words.
- As in someone might say sarcastically, “Yea, that’s what we should do. Go in there and just kill everyone”.
- If it’s reported as “Mr. X said we should all go in there and kill everyone” without letting people know he said it sarcastically, it is a mischaracterization of what was intended by the communication.
Misinformation is false or inaccurate information especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive, add doubt or make “it” seem wrong, bad, or evil. A red herring is a “fact”, especially a clue that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.
This type of information is toxic to our mass understanding of what is true as it prevents us from achieving a good compromise or consensus and keeps us from making informed decisions. It can reinforce an untruth or the negative as a positive as in “greed is good”. It can even erode our faith in good leaders, scientists and other groups.
For Example: PR/Ad agencies will put out a lot of information confusing us, so a company can continue to pollute or operate unsafely. They will use “native advertising” which creates ads to look like normal stories, research and other official information. The tactics are used to obscure and detract, which in turn stagnates our development, hurts our health, environment and future society. It also does not follow the precepts at the heart of the free market.
Numbers & Misinformation
Numbers are often used to mislead us especially by politicians, lawyers, businesspeople and journalists. If there is no context or if the context is askew, numbers can be made to mean almost anything.
Often one group’s numbers don’t match the other group’s numbers because neither are using the same information. This can make it seem as though one group is lying, and the other is not when both might be manipulating the numbers to show a result they want.
All numbers should add up. Each line item can be accounted for. If there is a discrepancy and our leaders do not resolve it, it’s a clear sign, we are being manipulated. All numbers used by our leaders should be readily available to the public with every line item accounted for. Those who tout numbers should be held accountable, and if found untrue should be publicly outed for spreading misinformation. They should also be required to spend equal time and effort clarifying the misinformation to the public.
Misinterpretation is purposely not understanding or reading false meaning into something. This is usually done to lead us to think a certain way about a topic.
For example, one person says he wants to be a leader and help the world while the other says, “Oh I see you want to be a tyrant and destroy all our lives”.
The person that makes this negative comment is doing so to skew the perception of other people toward that person or because they are projecting their own negative motivations and see everyone as the same as they are.
Misleading & Mislabeling
Misleading is a tactic used when “we the people” don’t have time to investigate and will go by the label.
For example, we want acceptance of a bill that will take away rights, so we name it the “Freedom and Fairness Voting Rights Act,” or we name something the “Clean Air Act” when it actually allows for more deadly pollution to be released.
Misleading or incomplete talking points are then used to back up the “goodness” of the issue.
For example, they say we have cut 100 million tons of pollution this year. What they don’t say is that is out of 1000 trillion tons and that they continue to grow over 300 million tons per month.
Native advertising is advertising disguised to look like a real news story or article written for a magazine. These types of “fake news” stories usually place an importance or focus on their product as the solution while leaving out a lot of other vital information. Make no mistake native advertising causes great harm to what we know as truth and to our society.
Nonsense - Also See Insignificant Focus
There are questions we can create that might never be answered, and in some cases are not legitimate.
For example, how many dinosaurs does it take to fix a dishwasher? Often the focus on nonsensical questions and nitpicking is done over nonconsequential matters to fan doubt, mislead and distract.
Not My Experience
“If I have not experienced something it can’t be true. I have not seen any discrimination there must not be any. Its cold here so the globe can’t be warming in general. I am told all people from X are evil. I don’t know any so it must be true”. Often these ideas result from an underdeveloped sense of empathy and sympathy and lead us from the truth.
Opinions/Belief Over Facts
As we have learned, a fact is something shown to be true, exist or to have happened. Opinions, suppositions and beliefs are based on personal judgment which cannot always be shown to exist. If those in positions of power postulate opinions over fact, we end up following courses of action that cannot lead to any solutions because they are not based in truth.
Those in positions of power use their station to convey unreason, lies, and misinformation. They work to confuse public opinion, so they can make money and have control over us. Often, they do this taking a “holier than thou” attitude where their unreason is somehow beyond reproach because it’s based on nonsensical faith.
Propaganda is the deliberate spreading of ideas, incomplete facts, half-truths, misinformation, allegations, lies, or rumors to further one's cause or for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, a person or to damage an opposing cause. Propaganda is not news but is designed to manipulate and control.
Revisionist history the rewriting of history in which facts are changed, left out, or changed to achieve an alternative goal. History is often written by the victors who gloss over the truth, so they can seem even better than they were.
History should be a science where finding the truth is the most important objective because if we don’t understand the past, we are more than likely to repeat it. To be clear, we repeat history because we are all born under the same human conditions, like ignorance, and our societies are similar. This means that certain types of social situations reoccur with leaders, governments, and businesses that involve issues like peace, war, laws, and negotiations of all kinds.
These social patterns show up again and again throughout history. If we don’t know how we handled these issues in the past, we will often make the same wrong choice. However, if we can see all past failures it can allow us to find a different solution. It also may be that in the past others did find a solution that we can use or modify for today. This is true in most aspects of life from science to politics to raising our children and more.
Therefore, it’s not only to learn history but we must also understand the age, location, bias, dogma, axioms and baselines of the writers to be sure the history is truth and not just a fiction someone wishes were true. In the end, the goal is to create a world history that is complete and factual, so we can all learn and move forward as a species.
Scandal is an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and is something that causes general public outrage. Scandal can damage a reputation. Scandal is caused by actual or made up facts tied to a person that violate morality or propriety norms. Scandal can be manufactured, and small things can be made into a big deal to create a scandal where there is none. This is often used to mislead and divert our attention from what is really important.
It is also a tactic used by those in power to take opponents out of the race or to divert people away from what they are really saying. At the same time, they are working to put down one side, they are using the scandal to elevate others.
Science is rejected based on the implications not the data.
- The conclusion of the study is negative and will cost money to fix. Therefore, it can’t be true.
- A scientist’s motives and reasons are attacked. Instead of dealing with the science, they say he only did this to further his own agenda.
- Legitimate disagreements between scientists are amplified to dismiss the facts in the science.
- Even if flawless, the science used to discover the truth is derided and cited as being flawed.
- Appeals are made in the name of fairness. However, there is no fairness in science. It is either a fact or it’s not. It either works or it does not. It is not right to put up two views as equal just because it seems fair.
Being on a “Slippery Slope” is a course of action that seems to lead inevitably from one action or result to another with unintended consequences. However, this chain of events is often made up and has no basis in reality. This is often used to stop something from happening.
For Example: If we do A then it leads to B, then C, then ultimately to Z. Since Z represents the end of the world, we can’t do A. Most of the time we can just do A without following the illogical progression to the horrible ending. Knowing what negative effects could happen helps us build in safeguards so it does not. This allows is to take needed actions while protecting against abuse.
The “straw man” tactic changes one thing into another so it is easy to attack. The “straw man” often uses metaphors and similes that only partially work. They lie by omission, use false comparisons, and quote people out of context. This is often used when they can’t overcome the primary argument, position, or fact.
For Example: “Wow, Senator Smith is a pacifist. He does not want to continue funding the building of tanks and we can’t have senators who want to leave us defenseless.
The truth is Senator Smith knows through direct requests from the military that we have enough tanks, but we need something more body armor desperately and specialty detection systems. So, he logically wants to switch the funding in a way that we get the needed equipment that he knows this will protect us even better.
Trolling is attacking, harassing or threatening someone online, through the mail, or over the phone anonymously. This can be done legitimately by calling them out on what they are saying and doing that is wrong and making it public.
Tolling also covers the way people say very mean and nasty things to people with the goal to hurt them and to stop the person for voicing their opinions or taking action. Most trolling at this point is done against minorities, and people who are overweight that do not conform to a standard of beauty.
For example, if someone disagrees with a popular political figure, they could receive death or rape treats for themselves or family members from the political leader’s followers. This can even lead to actual physical violence.
Trolls have made life horrible for a lot of people. Many children and teens have killed themselves because of the public shaming and abuse. Trolls have destroyed lives, stifled real substantive debate and more. While there might be a place for trolling those who are truly vile, it does not have a place within an enlightened society or relational debate.
Within an unequal comparison they make it seem as though things are equal and that their idea, product, or way of doing is superior. The problem is that things are not equal.
An example might be in the comparison of clothing detergents. They might set things up to appear equal but instead use different kinds of water, washing machines, cycles, or amounts of detergent.
It might be that the results of one are shown in bright white light and the other in shadow or other color light. The ways to tweak things so they appear equal when they are not are endless.
Unreasonable doubt is when people or organizations claim not to believe third parties and sow doubt in order to stay in power, stall change, or to prolong profits. This can be done by the manipulation of numbers, use of authority figures who tell us everything is ok and more. They say things like, “This is a new science, so we just don’t know”, or “All the numbers are not in”. or “We still do not know enough”, or “I know a few that say the majority is wrong”, or “It’s a conspiracy”.
Not all questions are legitimate. Just because we can ask a question does not mean it is a proper question. Questions should be logical and there should be a right to know. Leading questions are those which create a premise within the question that if answered in any way the person will look bad.
For example, “So Senator, what time do you beat your wife every day?” Getting someone to defend themselves against slander and lies repeatedly is often enough to tarnish a reputation.
Playing the victim is when someone is always claiming to be under attack and being prosecuted by some person or group. This is done so they can get attention, sympathy and followers from those who are also a victim in that manner. Note that sometimes there are real victims and they should not be confused with people who are just using this tactic.
Having a vested interest is when someone is tied to a certain belief or way of thinking because their reputation, job, or livelihood is on the line. We can see this clearly when we ask business leaders about their companies or about government programs. It is difficult to get some people to understand something if their livelihoods are on the line.
This can be a blind spot that they are not seeing, or it is something they know about but are choosing to live the lie because the truth is too hard for them. It is always important to be circumspect of people giving us answers when they have a vested interest in that answer. It’s like asking a cook if his food is good or a builder if he is up to code.
In the end, many of these tactics can be combined together to create a wall or bubble where fact, reason, truth and correct levels of empathy or sympathy are absent. The insane, unreasonable, illogical, closed and narrow minded, bullies, and willfully ignorant should not be in positions of power or part of the discussion. This is because they are not able to find solutions and only slow the process down.
Many of us are inundated by so much information, so often we become brainwashed and easily controlled if we are not vigilant. To get offended, angry and unreasonable when faced with a fact that challenges our world view is not the way to find the truth, solution or our “True Self”.
Only through understanding and acceptance of real facts can you truly get what you want as individuals and a society. Sometimes our world view is challenged by new information. You should not continue to believe in falsehoods just because they confirm your world view. It is better to know the truth than to live a lie. Sayings like “I have already made up my mind” and “Don’t confuse me with the facts” are reflections of this way of thinking”.
It is easy to get caught up in your own way of thinking as much of the evil in our world is rationalized by “If I don’t, someone else will” or “It has always been done this way” or “It’s just business” or “I don’t make the decisions”. However, there are no excuses because this negative way of being only persists because we let it. For the past to not be propitiated, people must choose to act or not.
If you like creating division and using these tactics to win at everything no matter what the cost, then you are not working to become your “True Self” or to create our “True Society”. If you are participating in this negativity, you need to reevaluate your life and work to live by a more virtuous moral code. If we all work in unison, we can fix any system.
Ultimately, we all need to work together to change the fact deniers into fact believers. At least in the beginning, changing minds requires patience, compassion, understanding and not distain or mocking. If not in the public eye, we should not dismiss these people right off but instead we need listen and understand then help them find the truth.
If the person is in the public eye and injects their ideas into the mass mind, then we need to all work to remove these people from public conversations, so they do not have a medium to spread their lies and disinformation.
It’s good that all of us be mindful of these tactics so we do not use them and so we can call out those who do. Awareness also means we are less likely to be taken advantage of in these ways. In the end we all need to work together to remove all the tactics and misinformation from our world, so we may all know the truth and make good decisions and reach consensus. This is the way toward our “True Society”.