COINTELPRO on the WWW - How it works, various examples

CarpeDiem

Jedi Council Member
Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

THAT"S interesting!
There appears to be a concentrated effort to pool out dissident sites. Michael Sweeney's site proparanoid.com has been hjacked.

from Michael's new site proparanoid.net:

Web Pirates Demand $157,800.00 in Ransom to insure proparanoid.com is kept 'Off the Air'

It was hijacked within weeks of posting the Fatal Rebirth material or, was it my awful music (also recent) they are afraid of? When Government can't supress truth, they it looks like they just steal it. When a Web site is hijacked, everyone looses.

Learn all about Web domain hijacking and what to do about it cybersquatting

Fatal Rebirth is a collection of frightening predictions: This is the book (in four volumes) from which two startling predictions were made, both of which came true: 1) A film script called The Electronic Apocalypse was drawn from an early version of Fatal Rebirth. Published on my Web site in the fall of 1999. Together they depicted terrorism which involved passenger jets crashing into and collapsing the World Trade Center and resulting in a series of wars in the Middle East; 2) Earlier, I had separately concluded from Fatal Rebirth research using the resulting Unified Conspiracy Theory that Ross Perot would not be allowed to finish his run for the Presidency. I warned his staff and the Secret Service that, based on material uncovered in my research for Fatal Rebirth, I feared there would be death threats or an assassination attempt on Perot and/or his family. No one listened. Within a matter of weeks, this also came to pass, and he did back out of the race.
According to my research, the same people who threatened Perot were also behind the anthrax attacks/scares after September 11th. If this is so, it tends to explain why the Secret Service investigated me rather than my basis for the warning, but only reading Fatal Rebirth will make sense of that comment. More importantly, it validates the prime thesis and other predictions of Fatal Rebirth, which are many, some more frightening than others. Warning: the End Game Scenario cometh.

Fatal Rebirth is a massive investigation: a massive four volume book set of unusual construct and purpose as suggested by the Table of Contents. Despite its size, the whole work need not be read, its organization designed to meet a variety of informational needs. One or two of the volumes will prove quite sufficient to many readers, while those with more serious interests or special motivations (students, researchers, activists, militias, etc.) will want to know much more. Some may even want to focus only on the Appendix volumes to satisfy specific research needs. The work is available in volumes as e-books by email or as a collective set at reduced price on special pocket CD-R. Hard copy versions are being considered.
The work details crimes of the intelligence community and power elite over decades, looking at the political bumps in the night and our greatest American tragedies NOT as disjointed coincidental happenings, but connected conspiratorial dots forming a dark plot I call the Unified Conspiracy Theory. In addition to revealing information not previously known publicly anywhere, it asks the question, what if JFK, RFK, Watergate, Iran Contra, BCCI, Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center Bombing, and even such things as the Vietnam War, were somehow connected -- part of one single conspiratorial plan involving a much longer list? If such a plan were to exist, what was its ultimate goal? Who was behind it? How could they hope to pull it off? How would they benefit? The answers are not unfathomable, but they are shocking. They are also a warning! September 11th and the Middle East (oil) wars are only the beginning. The End Game Scenario doth lie ahead.

Fatal Rebirth is a intrigue-filled mystery: Ten years of research and front line combat with members of the intelligence community and their many 'friends' resulted in learning the answers, as well as whole new mysteries. The simplest answer, and cause of all these mysteries, is 'Shadow,' a conspiratorial intelligencia dragon which is loose in the American political night, devouring power and money in a covert feeding frenzy. The more complex and complete answer requires over 2,000 pages, nearly 1,500 footnotes, and an Appendix section which dwarfs some entire text books. It even contains secrets encoded within the work which are both for the professional and the amateur to detect and translate. To the pro, they serve as warnings and proofs, or even blackmail notices. The remainder are just for fun. But in revealing Shadow, there was a problem, one which impacted significantly on what Fatal Rebirth would become, and how it would be presented.
The problem is, how do you make absolutely clear the future intended by a conspiracy? Unless obtaining actual covert plans or some remarkable confession on tape, it is often impossible to adequately demonstrate a given conspiracy exists, much less where it is going. Moreover, how do you retell what has happened in the past when the truth is so dramatically different than people's common understanding and acceptance of 'history,' because that history was based on lies accepted and promoted willingly by a government infected media? The solution which addressed these questions was both simple and unusual. It also solved other problems: If the intelligence community can infiltrate and manipulate media to twist fiction into their versions reality, then why not twist the true reality into a more demonstrable form using fiction?

Fatal Rebirth is a 'docudrama in print': A docudrama (a term usually reserved for fictionalized films about real historical persons and events) is based on facts, but liberties are taken within the story line to make it more interesting and dramatic, often making easier the task of emphasizing material which is deemed more important, details which might otherwise get lost or seem moot. A docudrama offers the creator an opportunity to blend in known facts with implied facts, those things which must be deduced or supposed based on limited information -- filling in the blanks. Fatal Rebirth relies upon this concept and backs all assertions up with footnotes to illustrate factual materials as well as any fill-in-the-blank deductive reasoning. This approach also offers the ability to simplify needlessly complex casts of characters by creating fictional composites. This is especially important in Fatal Rebirth, since many characters are from within the intelligence community or persons who must, for reasons of personal safety, have their identities withheld. Yet Fatal Rebirth also names names and kicks political butt when it needs to. Parts of it should make you cheer, but others could make you cry. Regardless, what you learn will both frighten and anger you.

A like simplification can be achieved in event constructs, allowing the building blocks and results to be more easily understood in terms of cause and effect without miring the reader in endless diversions and detailed explanations -- more freely focusing on the important aspects of what resulted from it all. Best of all, a docudrama or fictional construct allows the one truly useful means of looking into the future and making predictions in a meaningful way, giving them substance and painting them with a useful reality. That two significant predictions have already come to pass with terrible finality is perhaps an indication on the value of the greater collective of predictions represented in the conclusion of Fatal Rebirth, which portrays The End Game Scenario. If you don't know what that is, you need to read the book as if your life depended on it. It just might!

Moreover, a docudrama allows the creation of heroes, and within the context of a fictional struggle, the heroes can take actions which can serve to point the way towards possible resolution of the real world problem the fictional context portrays. That is, readers can see and learn what they themselves might be able to do to thwart Shadow's End Game Scenario. Never mind that most of the heroes in the book are based on real world counterparts. By this tool, a 'resolution' game plan can be proposed 'more safely.' That comment will make more sense when one reads the work. Every reader can become the hero, even if NOT going to the extremes that the books characters might undertake. That, is exactly the reason for Fatal Rebirth: to alter the future... to thwart Shadow... to reduce the level of heroism required (prevent bloodshed) and, most importantly... to stop the End Game Scenario.

Fatal Rebirth is hope for the future: The book does not just warn readers what's wrong in America (and beyond), it advises what can be done to defend against the treason and the tyranny. It has special advice to the militias, but also tells every day citizens how to deal with the treachery which is already in place as well as what looms on the horizon. In fact, because the work is so critical to the future well being of our nation... a tool useful to insuring our civil liberties and Constitutional rights are not stolen from us... I have established a special program for Activist and non profit groups who wish to promote Fatal Rebirth on their Web site. Don't just promote it, keep the profits! Approved Web sites can become authorized to sell the email version Volume I of Fatal Rebirth at any price they see fit (allowing special prices to members/supporters, or contributors.) For more information, contact me directly.

What Men in Black did to delay Fatal Rebirth: Someone hijacked the proparanoid Web site, and to make sure they kept it 'off the air,' they wanted $57,800 ransom! Why was the site hijacked (learn more here) by Men in Black? We may never know for sure, but it took place just weeks after prerecording a Sphinx Radio show with host William Kennedy, providing promotional Web material to Michael Corbin's A Closer Look radio show, and contacting Coast to Coast AM's George Noory -- all regarding the planned release of my new book, Fatal Rebirth, and there were no other projects or activities underway at the time that were not 'old news.' Also immediately thereafter, Michael Corbin suffered numerous mysteries involving vandalism of his station's security system, a fire in his apartment, and a hit-and-run on his car. Hmm… come to think of it both of my cars engines blew up in the same week! Regardless of any relationships, de facto censorship was achieved, even if just a delaying tactic (proparanoid.NET and fatalrebirth.com were established, though a total loss of hit volume and site income nearly bankrupted me -- making $157,800 all that more impossible).

Clearly, someone hit proparanoid.com to stop it (a normal hijack ransom is a few hundred to perhaps a couple of thousand, so proparanoid.com is not really for sale at all). What did they fear me saying that had not already been said and up on the site for many months? Only Fatal Rebirth qualifies as new material. Thus the conclusion is someone fears the contents of Fatal Rebirth. The question for you to decide is, do you want to increase their fears by reading Fatal Rebirth to know why they are so easily frightened, or would you prefer to cower in the safety of their censorship and let them decide for you what is allowed to pass for truth about their misdeeds?
 

Stowaway

The Force is Strong With This One
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

An important method of disinformation, not mentioned above, is called the *first-up* technique. It is not as widely recognized as other methods perhaps, therefore all the more reason to mention it here. This concept has given me quite a bit of thought, particularly with regard to "9/11" and to the JFK assassination. Recall that Oswald was declared on national television to be the chief murder suspect within two hours of the shooting of John F. Kennedy, but [edit] had been arrested for an unrelated crime, and was not immediately charged with the death of JFK. (I stated initially that Oswald was NOT charged with the murder of JFK. He was.)[/edit]

Here is the article that originally got my attention:
http://www.freedom4um.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=18651&Disp=0

From MIND CONTROL IN THE 21st CENTURY

Compiled by Ralph W. Omholt

One of the most important applications of ‘timing’ is the dynamic of ‘first-up;’ the proverbial ‘early bird.’ Given the dynamics behind the events of 9-11, they become a classic for all time. 9-11 was an inside-job; get used to that.

With no documentation linking al Qaeda to 9-11, per the FBI’s Robert Mueller, al Qaeda became the instant villain. Osama bin Laden issued a formal denial in an audio tape; but the ‘first-up’ effect was already in place. With that background, an obviously phony video tape was played before America, attempting to implicate bin Laden. We know it worked – that’s PSYOPS. AND, look at what that PSYOPS accomplished!

(Don’t get enthralled by the effect, the 9-11 PSYOPS story is very ugly. It may mean the death of America, as we knew it. If in doubt, read the "Patriot Act.")

"Timing" can also be a major clue to the astute observer. To be ‘first-up’ may also indicate who the villain actually is. Those who support the ‘first-up’ may be peripheral villains. In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, the ‘official line was, "There were no warnings. When that was illustrated as a lie, the claim was changed to "….specific warnings." As though any perpetrator is going to advertise his intentions in the Sunday Times! As time went on, more and more ‘warnings’ were illustrated; along with the history of the warnings being silenced with prejudice – from within. Out of the Hollywood version of "Godfather," comes the same dynamic – "…the first person…" Timing is important for many reasons.
This writer also makes a very interesting comment further on, in light of the fact that, within hours of the WTC attack, U.S. media were *reporting* to the world that Islamic highjackers were responsible.

It’s somewhat rare that facts and truth inherently carry their own weight. Thus, it is the role of the disinformationist to apply deceit, at a minimum, if not outright lies. Within reason, the disinformationist evades outright lies, versus an extreme of deceit. It is a general rule in disinformation and "psyops" (psychological operations) circles that the worst event is to ever get caught in a lie. Hence, the obvious evasion of a lie – versus alternate ‘deception’ tactics - often betrays the identity of a disinformationist.

Neither the 9-11 commission or the FBI will cite foreign terrorists as being the culprits of 9-11. There were no tickets to be discovered, the purported terrorists didn’t appear on any passenger manifests; nor did they appear in the 9-11 autopsies. Still, the methodology in the presentation left America with the unmistaken conviction that foreign terrorists did the work of 9-11.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

PatrickSMcNally said:
Stowaway said:
the purported terrorists didn’t appear on any passenger manifests;
Actually, it appears that they did.

_http://911myths.com/html/official_manifest_images.html
And then there is this article:
_http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?read=13019

It seems to be basing itself off of the lists shown on CNN right after 911, and according to the writer, a full month after the attacks there were still no lists he could find that included any arab names. So if that's true, this does make me question the validity of these manifests that showed up later that do include the arab names.

These are the supposed actual faxed manifests:
_http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/passengers.html

Also there is this:
_http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/investigation.terrorism/

This article is from 1 or 2 days after 911 and FBI is still confused about how many hijackers there were. But if I remember correctly, didn't they actually release to the mainstream media the names/photos of exactly 19 arab hijackers like hours after the attacks? I may be wrong.

Here's a supposed timeline of events as they happened on 911 based on the news articles being released at the time and since then. I don't know if all of it is accurate, but I included some interesting parts that just make you go "huh?" and bolded the parts relating to passenger lists.

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&day_of_9/11=dayOf911

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a091201passportfound#a091201passportfound
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a847pecoraro#a847pecoraro
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a846israelishighfive#a846israelishighfive
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a850wtcexplosions#a850wtcexplosions

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a900frenirequests#a900frenirequests
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a905aabegins#a905aabegins
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a906petgoat#a906petgoat
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a908flight77wtc#a908flight77wtc
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a9209flight77missing#a9209flight77missing
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a909falsereports#a909falsereports

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a910noinferno#a910noinferno
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a910mysteryplane#a910mysteryplane
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a909crashreport#a909crashreport
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a912attendantconfirms#a912attendantconfirms
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a912sixhijackers#a912sixhijackers
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a904hearexplosion#a904hearexplosion

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a920olsoncall#a920olsoncall
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a920downeyconcerned#a920downeyconcerned
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a920flight77lost#a920flight77lost
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a921uabginslockout#a921uabginslockout
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a924faamaybenotify#a924faamaybenotify
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a927threehijackers#a927threehijackers
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a928takeover#a928takeover
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a928execujettracks#a928execujettracks

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a930frenimanifests#a930frenimanifests

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a931welshstabbed#a931welshstabbed
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a934bombonboard#a934bombonboard
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a939grandcolascalls#a939grandcolascalls
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a945beamerplan#a945beamerplan
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a947glickvote#a947glickvote
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a950moltenmetal#a950moltenmetal
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1000falsereports#a1000falsereports
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a952firefighters#a952firefighters
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a959groundexplosion#a959groundexplosion
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a958doingit#a958doingit
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a958edfelt#a958edfelt

Cheney's reaction to south tower collapse:
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a959cheneyunresponsive#a959cheneyunresponsive

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a959hearexplosions#a959hearexplosions
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a959clarkealqaeda#a959clarkealqaeda
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a959downeythinksbombs#a959downeythinksbombs

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=aafter1000fbitapedulles#aafter1000fbitapedulles

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1000legalteam#a1000legalteam
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1006hearmissile#a1006hearmissile
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1006lightsflicker#a1006lightsflicker

Seems like all 19 hijackers were "identified" at 10am because their names supposedly appeared on the passenger manifests and the FBI/CIA just recognized the names (which also means no fake passports).
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1006passengerlists#a1006passengerlists


This one is awesome:
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1006hittarget#a1006hittarget
According to Newsweek, “shortly after the suicide attacks,” US intelligence picks up communications among bin Laden associates relaying the message: “we’ve hit the targets.
I mean, clearly US intelligence has all important al qaeda phones tapped and they can hear everything Bin Laden and his buddies say to one another. But apparently, all those phone taps were off until right after 911. Oh and then they were turned off again to make sure we don't overhear Bin Laden talking about where he might be hiding or anything. Yup, our intelligence goes from downright omnipresent to non-existent on demand.


_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1028giganticfireball#a1028giganticfireball

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1100customclaim#a1100customclaim

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1130clarksays#a1130clarksays


Another example of intelligence omnipresence when convenient:
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a091101germanslearn#a091101germanslearn

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1200blameosama#a1200blameosama
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a091101hauer911#a091101hauer911
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1200pullit#a1200pullit

Rumsfeld initially doubts that there is enough evidence to implicate Bin Laden:
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1205notgoodenough#a1205notgoodenough

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=aafternoongillfbi#aafternoongillfbi
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a100fbitellsjefferson#a100fbitellsjefferson
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a091101shadowgov#a091101shadowgov
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a200nashreturns#a200nashreturns
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a091101fiveisraelis#a091101fiveisraelis

This one was just really funky:
_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a454bbcearly#a454bbcearly

_http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1130fbiuninterested#a1130fbiuninterested

That time line was an interesting read, I spotted a couple of things I haven't seen before, and although it wasn't really a critical analysis of the events, it did include lots of mainstream media news reports and propaganda and contradictions as they occured.
 

PatrickSMcNally

Padawan Learner
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

Whether it's true or not, the explanation commonly given for why the CNN lists didn't contain any of the purported hijackers does make some sense. The assertion is that CNN was only publishing a list of those considered as victims, but that this by definition did not include the alleged hijackers who would have been classed as victimizers. Hence it's not a shock that the CNN lists did not include these names.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

PatrickSMcNally said:
Whether it's true or not, the explanation commonly given for why the CNN lists didn't contain any of the purported hijackers does make some sense. The assertion is that CNN was only publishing a list of those considered as victims, but that this by definition did not include the alleged hijackers who would have been classed as victimizers. Hence it's not a shock that the CNN lists did not include these names.
And that does make sense, at least it's plausible. So perhaps the original manifests did have all those hijackers all along, and everyone who assumes they didn't are basing this on articles that were based on the assumption that the original CNN list was the full manifest. On the other hand there is so much conflicting information regarding the hijackers themselves, what they did, how many of them there were, etc, that it may very well be that there never were any hijackers at all either. A lot of that conflicting info is in that timeline in my last post, but there's a lot more out there too.
 

Out of the Box

The Force is Strong With This One
Re: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

Another important technique : they accuse the other side of doing exactly what they're doing themselves. There is no better way to stop criticism but to falsely accuse your oponents of eg. distorting facts, as they will no longer be able to sound credible when they accuse you of such.
 

Subartu

A Disturbance in the Force
Re: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

Hi,
Things are not so complicated. Everything is simple in nature. They seem complicated if we put too much into the focus. We could not eat too much food without digestion.
Any comment on this link? In what percent is it true? _http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message750912/pg1 (also the percentage, that how much of it you read)
Peace
Subartu
 

paralleloscope

The Living Force
Re: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

The essay the Argument from Intimidation by Ayn Rand seems to compliment those main points.
i hope it is ok to quote in it's entirety? from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Virtue_of_Selfishness
---

There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent's agreement with one's undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure. Since it is particularly prevalent in today's culture and is going to grow more so in the next few months, one would do well to learn to identify it and be on guard against it.

This method bears a certain resemblance to the fallacy ad hominem, and comes from the same psychological root, but is different in essential meaning. The ad hominem fallacy consists of attempting to refute an argument by impeaching the character of its proponent. Example: "Candidate X is immoral, therefore his argument is false."

But the psychological pressure method consists of threatening to impeach an opponent's character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: "Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X's argument is false."

In the first case, Candidate X's immorality (real or invented) is offered as proof of the falsehood of his argument. In the second case, the falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.

In today's epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as "The Argument from Intimidation."

The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: "Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea."

The classic example of the Argument from Intimidation is the story The Emperor's New Clothes.

In that story, some charlatans sell nonexistent garments to the Emperor by asserting that the garments' unusual beauty makes them invisible to those who are morally depraved at heart. Observe the psychological factors required to make this work: the charlatans rely on the Emperor's self-doubt; the Emperor does not question their assertion nor their moral authority; he surrenders at once, claiming that he does see the garment - thus denying the evidence of his own eyes and invalidating his own consciousness - rather than face a threat to his precarious self-esteem. His distance from reality may be gauged by the fact that he prefers to walk naked down the street, displaying his nonexistent garments to the people - rather than risk incurring the moral condemnation of two scoundrels. The people, prompted by the same psychological panic, try to surpass one another in loud exclamations on the splendor of his clothes - until a child cries out that the Emperor is naked.

This is the exact pattern of the working of the Argument from Intimidation, as it is being worked all around us today.

We have all heard it and are hearing it constantly:

"Only those who lack finer instincts can fail to accept the morality of altruism." – "Only the ignorant can fail to know that reason has been invalidated." – "Only black-hearted reactionaries can advocate capitalism." – "Only war-mongers can oppose the United Nations." – "Only the lunatic fringe can still believe in freedom." – "Only cowards can fail to see that life is a sewer." – "Only the superficial can seek beauty, happiness, achievement, values or heroes."

As an example of an entire field of activity based on nothing but the Argument from Intimidation, I give you modern art - where, in order to prove that they do possess the special insight possessed only by the mystic "elite," the populace are trying to surpass one another in loud exclamations on the splendor of some bare (but smudged) piece of canvas.

The Argument from Intimidation dominates today's discussions in two forms. In public speeches and print, it flourishes in the form of long, involved, elaborate structures of unintelligible verbiage, which convey nothing clearly except a moral threat. ("Only the primitive-minded can fail to realize that clarity is oversimplification.") But in private, day-to-day experience, it comes up wordlessly, between the lines, in the form of inarticulate sounds conveying unstated implications. It relies, not on what is said, but on how it is said - not on content, but on tone of voice.

The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. "Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?" And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim - who answers, properly: "I am," - the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: "Oh, you couldn't be! Not really!" "Really." "But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!" "I don't." "Oh, come now!" "Since I don't know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?" "Oh, don't be ridiculous!" "Will you tell me the reasons?" "Well, really, if you don't know, I couldn't possibly tell you!"

All this is accompanied by raised eyebrows, wide-eyed stares, shrugs, grunts, snickers and the entire arsenal of nonverbal signals communicating ominous innuendoes and emotional vibrations of a single kind: disapproval.

If those vibrations fail, if such debaters are challenged, one finds that they have no arguments, no evidence, no proof, no reason, no ground to stand on - that their noisy aggressiveness serves to hide a vacuum - that the Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.

The primordial archetype of that Argument is obvious (and so are the reasons of its appeal to the neo-mysticism of our age): "To those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who don't, none is possible."

The psychological source of that Argument is social metaphysics. [See: Nathanial Branden, "Social Metaphysics," The Objectivist Newsletter, November 1962.]

A social metaphysician is one who regards the consciousness of other men as superior to his own and to the facts of reality. It is to a social metaphysician that the moral appraisal of himself by others is a primary concern which supersedes truth, facts, reason, logic. The disapproval of others is so shatteringly terrifying to him that nothing can withstand its impact within his consciousness; thus he would deny the evidence of his own eyes and invalidate his own consciousness for the sake of any stray charlatan's moral sanction. It is only a social metaphysician who could conceive of such absurdity as hoping to win an intellectual argument by hinting: "But people won't like you!"

Strictly speaking, a social metaphysician does not conceive of his Argument in conscious terms: he finds it "instinctively" by introspection–since it represents his psycho-epistemological way of life. We have all met the exasperating type of person who does not listen to what one says, but to the emotional vibrations of one's voice, anxiously translating them into approval or disapproval, then answering accordingly. This is a kind of self-imposed Argument from Intimidation, to which a social metaphysician surrenders in most of his human encounters. And thus when he meets an adversary, when his premises are challenged, he resorts automatically to the weapon that terrifies him most: the withdrawal of a moral sanction.

Since that kind of terror is unknown to psychologically healthy men, they may be taken in by the Argument from Intimidation, precisely because of their innocence. Unable to understand that Argument's motive or to believe that it is merely a senseless bluff, they assume that its user has some sort of knowledge or reasons to back up his seemingly self-confident, belligerent assertions; they give him the benefit of the doubt - and are left in helplessly bewildered confusion. It is thus that the social metaphysicians can victimize the young, the innocent, the conscientious.

This is particularly prevalent in college classrooms. Many professors use the Argument from Intimidation to stifle independent thinking among the students, to evade questions they cannot answer, to discourage any critical analysis of their arbitrary assumptions or any departure from the intellectual status quo.

"Aristotle? My dear fellow—" (a weary sigh) "if you had read Professor Spiffkin's piece in—" (reverently) "the January 1912 issue of Intellect magazine, which—" (contemptuously) "you obviously haven't, you would know—" (airily) "that Aristotle has been refuted."

"Professor X?" (X standing for the name of a distinguished theorist of free-enterprise economics.) "Are you quoting Professor X? Oh no, not really!" - followed by a sarcastic chuckle intended to convey that Professor X had been thoroughly discredited. (By whom? Blank out.)

Such teachers are frequently assisted by the "liberal" goon squad of the classroom, who burst into laughter at appropriate moments.

In our political life, the Argument from Intimidation is the almost exclusive method of discussion. Predominantly, today's political debates consist of smears and apologies, or intimidation and appeasement. The first is usually (though not exclusively) practiced by the "liberals," the second by the "conservatives." The champions, in this respect, are the "liberal" Republicans who practice both: the first, toward their "conservative" fellow Republicans - the second, toward the Democrats.

All smears are Arguments from Intimidation: they consist of derogatory assertions without any evidence or proof, offered as a substitute for evidence or proof, aimed at the moral cowardice or unthinking credulity of the hearers.

The Argument from Intimidation is not new; it has been used in all ages and cultures, but seldom on so wide a scale as today. It is used more crudely in politics than in other fields of activity, but it is not confined to politics. It permeates our entire culture. It is a symptom of cultural bankruptcy.

How does one resist that Argument? There is only one weapon against it: moral certainty.

When one enters any intellectual battle, big or small, public or private, one cannot seek, desire or expect the enemy's sanction. Truth or falsehood must be one's sole concern and sole criterion of judgment - not anyone's approval or disapproval; and, above all, not the approval of those whose standards are the opposite of one's own.

Let me emphasize that the Argument from Intimidation does not consist of introducing moral judgment into intellectual issues, but of substituting moral judgment for intellectual argument. Moral evaluations are implicit in most intellectual issues; it is not merely permissible, but mandatory to pass moral judgment when and where appropriate; to suppress such judgment is an act of moral cowardice. But a moral judgment must always follow, not precede (or supersede), the reasons on which it is based.

When one gives reasons for one's verdict, one assumes responsibility for it and lays oneself open to objective judgment: if one's reasons are wrong or false, one suffers the consequences. But to condemn without giving reasons is an act of irresponsibility, a kind of moral "hit-and-run" driving, which is the essence of the Argument from Intimidation.

Observe that the men who use that Argument are the ones who dread a reasoned moral attack more than any other kind of battle – and when they encounter a morally confident adversary, they are loudest in protesting that "morality" should be kept out of intellectual discussions. But to discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it.

The Argument from Intimidation illustrates why it is important to be certain of one's premises and of one's moral ground. It illustrates the kind of intellectual pitfall that awaits those who venture forth without a full, clear, consistent set of convictions, wholly integrated all the way down to fundamentals—those who recklessly leap into battle, armed with nothing but a few random notions floating in a fog of the unknown, the unidentified, the undefined, the unproved, and supported by nothing but their feelings, hopes and fears. The Argument from Intimidation is their Nemesis. In moral and intellectual issues, it is not enough to be right: one has to know that one is right.

The most illustrious example of the proper answer to the Argument from Intimidation was given in American history by the man who, rejecting the enemy's moral standards and with full certainty of his own rectitude, said:

"If this be treason, make the most of it."
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

Interesting description of the use of paramoralism. Also interesting that there are a number of paramoralistic insinuations contained within the text relating to capitalism. Imagine that?! Paramoralistically using a description of paramoralims!
 

paralleloscope

The Living Force
Re: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

now that you point it out :-[, on first pass i read; hmm, 'thats just Ayn using her views as example', and disregarded the insinuation as a relative example of oft proclaimed statements with little backing and left her whole paramoralistic weigth and political context out of the reading. This is an example of context skewing in favor of having agreement on my account.

The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. "Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?" And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim - who answers, properly: "I am," - the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: "Oh, you couldn't be! Not really!" "Really." "But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!" "I don't." "Oh, come now!" "Since I don't know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?" "Oh, don't be ridiculous!" "Will you tell me the reasons?" "Well, really, if you don't know, I couldn't possibly tell you!"

My thougths lately, also when reading this, how does one discriminate or portray between ones own relativism and a readers standard, meaning;
how to bridge the links and jumps over pitfalls ones own mind makes which most likely does not match the receivers reasoning, the answer i am getting while writing this, is simply to put more effort in to formulation or explanation, a big hurdle of mine.
 

Argonaut

Jedi Master
World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques

A Facebook friend just posted a link to this article: World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques. As I read the list of techniques I got a feeling of deja vu... Because I've seen them used here many times by "wrong bar" and "Baked Noodle" types. The next time one of these people wanders into the forum, perhaps we could direct them to this article. Just to inform them that what they're trying to pull is nothing new.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques

Internet Argument Techniques

Some people are so dumb that they think they can walk around naked and argue people into believing they have clothes on. These people have made their way to the internet.

How to Combat These Techniques

The important thing to remember is that you are dealing with a person who has essentially placed a twig on their head and expects you to believe they are a tree. Armored in that level of "confidence," almost anything you say will be construed by them as evidence that their tree disguise is working, so you will have to be very specific and to the point in addressing exactly what they're doing and why it's not fooling anyone.

Subtlety and sarcasm are great tools but there is no way in hell they will get through to this poor sap. Unless you're just toying with them for your amusement, the best way to put an end to it is just to be direct. Point them to this guide if necessary, explain that you know what they are doing, and that it is so obvious it can be seen from space.

Chances are they will just end up placing more twigs on their head, praying fervently that this will succeed, but at least you gave it your best shot.
_http://www.cracked.com/funny-3809-internet-argument-techniques/

That is so NOT wrong!

:rotfl:
 

sid

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Re: World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques

Now, that's a good find! :lol:
 
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