Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
Comment: 18) Find some 14-year-old with a website who says aliens were
behind it and smear all the way!
Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring
down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based
defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these
techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a
mere token opposition party.
1) Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't
2) Wax indignant. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.
3) Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors."
If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn
about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they
tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply
"paranoid" or "hysterical.")
4) Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the
weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up
wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the
charges, real and fanciful alike.
5) Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut,"
"ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and of course, "rumor monger." Be sure,
too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing
their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its
defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with
any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your
own "skeptics" to shoot down.
6) Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting
strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are
simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money
(compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who,
presumably, are not).
7) Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham
opposition can be very useful.
8) Dismiss the charges as "old news."
9) Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance"
or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the
impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively
harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often
requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the
one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back
position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited
10) Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as
11) Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance.
With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is
irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they
know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
(BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would
have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior
knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the
likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report the
12) Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. For example:
If Vince Foster was murdered, who did it and why?
13) Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or
14) Scantly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them.
This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.
15) Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to
attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding,
but anonymous, source.
16) Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges
"expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to
pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is
to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own
17) Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the
question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon
hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press
and harassing genuine critics?" Don't the authorities have defenders
enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One
would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out
serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control
enough, but, obviously, it is not.
Until next issue stay cool and remain low profile!