Monday, March 7, 2011

How Disinformation Specialists Hijack Freedom Movements

     You may have had this experience: You receive a feel-good email message that expresses something you’ve been feeling for years. Sure, there are one or two points that don’t quite fit your beliefs, but a few points in a two- or three-page article may be overlooked. It’s the overall, feel-good message that counts. You forward it to others on your email list and forget all about it.
     But wait. What if you re-read the message before passing it on, only this time in a more critical frame of mind? On the second reading, you may realize that, in two or three pages, none of the feel-good passages say anything new. The only new material is in the one or two points that you found disagreeable.
     Welcome to the world of idea placement advertising. It’s kind of like product placement advertising, except that ideas rather than products are being peddled.
     Our minds have a guard at the gate. Each time a message comes to the gate, the guard decides whether the message is true. If it’s considered true, the message is allowed into the short-term memory and, with good behavior, it will be allowed into the long-term memory. At that point, it’ll be hard to erase.
     Try this experiment: Find someone whose name isn’t George and start calling him George. No matter how many times you call him George, the guard at his mental gate will reject the suggestion that that his name is really George.
     The guards at gates, however, can be fooled in a variety of ways. If the guard can be fooled into thinking that it’s not really a message—that it’s really entertainment—the message goes straight to the long-term memory where it becomes one of that person’s core beliefs.
     Remember also the Russian proverb, “The best place to conceal a knife is in plain sight, with a spoon and fork.” That’s one of the ways that the corporate media and other disinformation specialists slip their messages past our brains’ guards at the gate.
     To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Allow me one example: I recently read a feel-good article supposedly written to promote a sense of national unity among Americans but containing a hidden message to support the agenda of the global elite.
     In a recent article, neoconservative propagandist Michelle Malkin wrote an article called “We, the unhyphenated Americans: Meet my people.” Right away, the title of the article makes us feel good.
     From my own perspective, it was pleasing to know that the author is a native Filipina. I lived in the Philippines for four months and formed a fondness and admiration for Filipinos that has endured for 40 years. Many Filipinos attend my church. Thus, for me, Michelle Malkin’s heritage enhances the impressiveness of her article’s title.
     After the first few paragraphs, though, I got suspicious and did a quick Internet search of her professional credentials. Here are some comments I later made concerning what I had found in the article and the Internet search:

     “Michelle Malkin, the author of the...article falls into the same trap (or more likely sets the trap) as the people she derides. In the article, she pretends to be inclusive of all Americans, but "her people," as she calls them, are exclusively Republicans. Don't forget that the Dubya Bush administration and their co-conspirators gave us 9/11, the USA PATRIOT Act, TSA groping and high-tech voyeurism, the Department of Homeland Security, torture, the end of habeas corpus, the end of posse comitatus; and endless wars against literally millions of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
     “Are those criminals "her people"? Apparently so, since she posits everyone who opposes these wars, abuses, and usurpations are people who have no argument beyond accusations of Islamophobia.
     “It's supposed to be an urban legend that people slip razor blades into Halloween candy, but Ms Malkin has given it a new twist and made it a fact. She's slipping poison into a highly agreeable concept.
     “That should not be surprising when you look at her career.
     “She worked in Washington, DC, as a journalism fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Never heard of it? They're funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund, CFR co-founder Exxon Mobile, CFR premium member Pfizer, and the Earhart Foundation. The Earhart Foundation is noted for funding such neocon schemes as the American Enterprise Institute which, in turn, gave us the Project for the New American Century, which favored "a new Pearl Harbor" several months before 9/11.
     “She hasn't forgotten who has been feeding her all these years. During her career of barking for her supper, she has barked at the tables of MSNBC, the Boston Globe, and Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel.
     “In 2004, when Vietnam War hero John Kerry was running for President against a selfish coward who had pulled strings and even broken a lawful contract to avoid the draft, Michelle Malkin derided Kerry for not being as big a war hero as Kerry had claimed. Through clever wording, she said that Kerry's "wounds were self inflicted." When asked by Chris Matthews whether Malkin's comment implied that Kerry had wounded himself to get a Purple Heart, she ducked the question but allowed the suggestion to stand.
     “Michelle Malkin is clearly a RINO neocon operative whose money trail leads back to the Rockefellers, Goldman Sachs, the disaster capitalists, and other threats to peace and freedom. Be very careful when--or if--you read one of her feel-good articles. Her candy is likely to be laced with arsenic or razor blades.”
     Michelle Malkin is only one of many Trojan horses in the freedom movement. I singled her out only because it was her article that was forwarded to me—not by a disinformation specialist or a paid Internet troll but by an innocent dupe. 
     Remember that the devil comes to us as an angel of light.  Pray for wisdom and freedom from manipulation; and read with care.

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