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Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation


Preface: This handy set of rules covers most of the games which disinformation artists play on the Internet (and offline). When you know the tricks, you'll be able to spot the games. Even if you've read this list before, you might be surprised at how useful it is to brush up on these tricks.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded...


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In our homeschool, we have our kids read

the book "The Fallacy Detective" by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn. It teaches them in 36 lessons how to recognize bad reasoning. The kids were entertained and educated by the book. Recommended even for us adults.


Standard rules of rhetoric. Back in the late 1960's, I went to a public high school that was "ahead of its time" in terms of being "progressive" (marxist). We studied "Logic", anyway what we were told was logic, but it was RHETORIC, much as presented here. Some of the useful little idiots then thought they were experts in logic. (I pointed out that this was not logic, but the destruction of logic, I got a D. The useful idiots got A's. They went to Harvard, etc, to become lawyers, etc, I went to Engineering school.)

My suggestion is that everyone here should become very familiar with each of these, to the point of being able to NAME it whenever you hear someone else doing one.

First step is to identify it when you hear it.
Second step is to make sure that you CALL THEM ON IT, IMMEDIATELY!
Third step, be PREpared to present truth and justice on the issue.

How? Have a clear picture of what you believe. Examine it from every angle. Base your views on clear valid principles that are applicable by act (whoever shall commit a murder shall be punished by ...), not by identification of party (murder is murder, but not if committed by Ted Kennedy).

As my Dad told me when I was a kid: If you want to win debates, first align your beliefs with the TRUTH.