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Of Concern & Love

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Phil Collins: Don't Get Me Started                      Questions that must be answered               Cat Stevens: Peace Train

  What IS Propaganda?
Part One - How You're Being Fooled Everyday


If you look in the dictionary, the word propaganda means: Any systematic, widespread or deliberate indoctrination or plan for such indoctrination, now often used in a derogatory sense, because it often uses deception or distortion to convince you of a particular idea.

Technically, propaganda is not a bad thing.  However, propaganda in the derogatory sense has given the word propaganda a bad name. 

Think about that. People have used propaganda in such bad ways, that its meaning has been changed so that when we hear the word, we think bad things about it.  Now we call it spin, which makes it sound more like fun than deception and manipulation.

We have been trained to think that propaganda is bad, and those who use it are bad people. That way, you won't think what you see is propaganda, because, hey, they wouldn't do that, would they?  They're good guys.  I've been watching them for years.

Now, don't consider what I'm going to say next as meaning I agree or disagree with these things that were planted in the minds of Americans by the use of propaganda:

Ronald Reagan used to do advertisements for cigarettes, and wanted people to believe it was the popular, the "cool" thing to do. It wasn't true, but by making people believe that most people thought cigarettes were a good thing, more people bought cigarettes. That was propaganda.

Propaganda was used to change America's mind to believe that cigarettes are a bad thing.

Propaganda was used to make you believe that George Bush won the 2000 election, when he really didn't.  Given that, it made it easier for the Supreme Court to rule unconstitutionally without too much concern about public backlash, because the media convinced the American people that Bush won the election. Therefore, there was no room for valid complaint.

Thus, the phrase "get over it". If you don't, then you must be one of those silly, whiney Democrats.

If the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of a recount, we might have had rioting in the streets, because so many people had become convinced that Al Gore's request for recounting was a silly waste of time and money, and causing us poor, fragile little Americans distress and frustration that we simply could not endure. That's what you were convinced of.

My favorite example of propaganda is when Brian Williams on the MSNBC's Program The News with Brian Williams played a report featuring Janet Blakey, the investigator from the NTSB in charge of the investigation of the crash of flight 587 from JFK airport last fall.  She said, the NTSB had come to no conclusion about the cause of that accident.  They still have not published a conclusion, at least not in public.

Yet, the moment the report was over, he delivered this line: "no matter what was reported, there would still be some people who  would never believe it wasn't terrorism"

There were many reasons for him to make this remark. It's like the remark "follow the money". When you hear something on tv news, you need to understand there is a thread of truth.  Any good reporter knows that when they're told something, what they are hearing is raw, uncorroborated information... not necessarily the truth. 

There's almost always more to the story. And so they investigate more, compare the information they get from a variety of sources, and come to a conclusion based upon all of the reports they've read or the facts they've collected.

This was written on July 20th, 2002. Just take note of that. Here's the interesting part: because I wrote this, they'll probably release a report, true or not.  Or, they won't produce a report, because it will make it seem like they're responding to what I've written,and it would give crediblity to this website, and that's the last thing they want to do.  Ultimately, they'll do whatever they want, and claim they've never heard of us.  And, if they can't deny that, they'll classify this site as the work of a conspiracy nut.  You watch.

When the time comes for Tom Brokaw to retire, Brian Williams will replace him.   The last thing they want is for people to question whether they should trust what Brian Williams says.  Now that I've written this, they'll probably put him back on the air in order to make it seem like I'm not telling you the truth.

That's part of the propaganda game.  It's a very tricky game, because it's all based on research into how the brain processes information.  There are no random occurrances of implantaion of information...

Why do I say implantation?  Because if I say something to you 7-11 times, your brain will place that information in a storage compartment called... the truth.  It exists, it's real.  And from that point on, your opinions and reactions to things are based on that information. 

These days, that's called marketing.  It used to be called subliminal advertising, mind control and conditioning.  It was Hitler's favorite trick, and millions of Jews and Germans will tell you this is true.

Now... I don't want to confuse you, I want to tell you something.    I want to teach you something. What I'm going to do is be intellectually honest with you.  That means I'm going to present a balanced report, provide you with the facts.  I believe that when you have the facts, you will be able to make informed decisions.  It will empower you to be able to tell the truth from lies, or spin or distortions, and bits of information used out of context.

Here goes. Are you ready?  Read this carefully, or you'll become confused.

Everything I've written from the point on the page where it says This was written on July 20th, 2002 is propaganda.  I even inserted the words This was written on July 20th, 2002 in the previous sentence so that someone who had at least a few scruples wouldn't be able to lift the sentence and use it in a story to claim that I admitted on the site that I told you that what you were reading is the "p"-word.  I don't want them to use it against me, unless they're low enough to cut and paste and alter it.  And they probably will.

See, they have the power of mass media to convince you. I have to rely on informed people. They can say whatever they want about this site, and millions of people will believe them.  That's why I put the date in, so in essence, you are my witness. But I only speak to one person at a time.

The real question is, is the "p" word being used responsibly, or is it being used to trick you? And understand, I said the "p" word specifically because of the way your brain works. When you heard that, you probably thought about, or got a mental image of, 1 or 2 things, and they were both negative impressions. One would be urinating, the other takes advantage of previous propaganda that would suggest any letter followed the word "word", such as "n"-word... is a bad thing. 

See how it works?  I wrote that sentence because asking you a question in bold print might cause you to scroll up the page and read all of this section if  you haven't already.  It's not a fluke.  It's based on research.   And it's done on purpose. Now you know.

But let me tell you what else I did. Writing tons of radio advertising copy, commercials, taught me how to do this. Think about that, and what you listen to, and ask yourself what you can believe.

Let's go back to where I first stated the date that I wrote this article. (One way or the other, I'm trying to get you to read it)  I put it in red because I knew your brain would not be able to ignore it, and so when I finally did get you to read it, you would already know approximately where to find it on this page to reference the material I'm referring to in this analysis.

This may be the most important part.  And I promise you, I'm not going to play any more word games with you.  I'm not going to pay much attention to the tricks.

1) When people see the color red, they pay attention

2) When people recite dates and statistics, accurate or not, they register in your brain as the truth.  It's even more powerful to show them to you visually, because it implants that image in your brain, and your brain recalls images magnificently.    Better than sound. Many times better than reading plain words like this.

This website would be more appealing to you if it had pictures, even though it has nothing to do with the quality of the actual content and expression of the message of this site.  We will be adding pictures soon.  It causes you to make a commitment to staying on this site for a while.

3) The examples I gave you box them into a corner.  Technically, no matter what they do in response to me writing this, they can't win.  There are very few methods that would actually allow me to know whether they see this site or not. 

And they could easily deny it.  I know they've seen it  because I've sent them so many emails about it they couldn't possibly not know.  In fact, I got too much of their attention, and decided to back off so I wouldn't waste the impact, or burn them out on the message I was trying to send. 

Besides, there are few announcers and tv personalities who have the ability to resist looking at something written about themselves.

I play with them, they play with me, and it's kind of fun. At the same, we both know it's a serious game.  Besides, there's an election coming up, and a ton of political advertising dollars to harvest.

But let's be clear, MSNBC, CNBC and NBC, aren't the only ones who do it.  Many other  stations have editorial policy that dictates the content of the news.

4) When I told you I didn't want to confuse you, I wanted to tell you something... there were 2 purposes. The first, to convince you that now I was just going to tell you the truth. No games.  Which is true. 

The other reason is that most Americans have had at least 12 years of being in classrooms with a wide variety of people teaching them.

When the teacher says, "I want you to listen to this", your brain has been conditioned to switch into another operating mode... a learning.mode, where you automatically accept whatever comes next as the truth.  I put the words in quotes, because things put in quotes will cause you to believe I am stating fact, from someone else's point of view, and visually, that will automatically register in your mind, cause you to notice it, and be interested in reading the context of the statement.

5) Why do I put things on so many different lines?  Because you're much more likely to read a short sentence than a long paragraph. 

There are very few things you read or are told that aren't done in a way loosely based on research about how to manipulate your brain.  That doesn't ALWAYS mean people are doing it on purpose. They're just following an example of what works.

By now, I even have you looking at this and recognizing how I'm trying to influence you.   That's a good thing. That's what I wanted to do.

The bottom line is, and I really want you to understand this... (no, really :}

This is the whole point of what I'm trying to convey to you.

Who can you REALLY trust? YourselfNow, I'm not trying to advise you to not trust other people.  That would be unhealthy.  What I'm asking you to do is ask yourself a few questions everytime you hear something on tv.

Why did I put the word yourself in smaller print?  To demonstrate to you visually that when you don't go along with the propaganda, and the resulting concensus of your friends and the rest of the country about an issue, you will purposely be made to feel diminished, a lone voice in the crowd, a trouble maker, alienated and just plain wrong... even when you know you're right.  And being right makes it even more humiliating.

And so the questions:  How do I know what information I've been told is true?  Why do I believe the person who told me.?

See, you think you know these people. They've been on tv for a long time, and you've been trained to believe that what they say is true.   After all, a broadcaster isn't allowed to mislead you.  There are rules, right?  Indeed there are.  And I just explained them to you.

But the fact is, most of the people on tv did not write the script they're reading.  They have nothing to do, no personal investment in the words they are speaking, other than the fact that they are paid to read a script. It's like a good actor, playing a part, with a script that's purposely written to leave you with a certain perception, and it may or may not be the truth.

When Jerry Nachman's promotional announcement on MSNBC plays, he says things about journalists, and the old time reporters.  Why? Because he wants to rehabilitate the idea that MSNBC has people on it that are seasoned reporters, not script readers. Why?

He wants to remind you that there's always more to the story.

Your job is to inform yourself by verifying the information with other, more in-depth sources of information. If nothing else, these stations simply don't have the time to give you all the details.

When the sales manager of a broadcast station brings a writer the information about an advertising client, they tell the writer what  message they want conveyed, and it's the writer's job to write words to manipulate you into believing everything you're told, whether it's true or not.

And the worst part is, even the person doing the writing frequently has no idea whether it's true or not. They just know what you want to hear.    And that's what they tell you.  That's what they're paid to do, and they are paid very well to do it.

Now that you know what propaganda is, and the way you are manipulated every day, you'll find it difficult to ignore, and you'll be able to identify propaganda for what it is.   And that's a very good thing indeed. Because somebody's trying to sell you something, and it may not be the truth.

If this website teaches you nothing but this stuff about propaganda, it will have been worth all the effort of creating it.

It's like what Ari Fleischer said of Bush's Harken stock deal "The best way to say it is..."

What do you think?  Is that an introduction to the truth, or does it sound more like propaganda?


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(C) Charles Rehn Jr IV  2002-2009 All Rights Reserved