Can Truth Be Propaganda? - #PropagandaWatch

07/31/201975 Comments

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Some want to make the distinction between "propaganda"—manipulating others with lies—and marketing—manipulating others with truth. But is this an accurate distinction? Or is it possible to use truthful information in propaganda. Join James as he explores an example of true propaganda from WWII and calls on the audience for more examples.


How Propaganda Hacks Our Brains

Selling war : the British propaganda campaign against American "neutrality" in World War II

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  1. alexander says:

    Propaganda takes advantage of the way our brains function when we are not paying attention. When we are paying attention our analytical skills are engaged. When we are not, our brains go on processing information in a non-analytical way, using what might be called a poetic logic, based mainly upon similarities, coincidental patterns, associations, repetition, and emotion. There are sound biological reasons for this mindless type of processing, which actually helps us learn faster, retain memories longer, and make appropriate decisions without really thinking. In this presentation, we explore how and why art and poetry may actually be more helpful in developing critical thinking skills. Art also works with the poetic logic of subconscious processing, but does so in a way that is not manipulative, deceptive or dishonest.

  2. fieldmouse says:

    Absolutely truth is used as propaganda. An example is the limited hangout, a CIA term. Truth is told up to a certain point, up to the glass cieling installed in the truth teller’s or propagandist’s consciousness. The media reports on some subjects but will not report on others.
    This can be detected by noticing missing subject areas.
    For instance 1) Multiple personalities are rarely reported on in spite of being common. It is also common for those with multiple personalities or with different personality zones to be unaware of it, just as the people they deal with are usually unaware of it and classify their behaviour to be in normal range. This gives a great advantage to the occultist (synonyms manipulator, criminal, psychologist, insider). When multiple personality systems break down the person is said to have dissociative identity disorder.
    2) Ancient history. The official version of the history of Egypt is that primitive man who was banging rocks together had a bright idea and got more rocks and built the pyramids. The culture then went into a slow decline. This is debatable. We know that the Vatican systematically destroyed records, keeping a copy for themselves in the Vatican library. Michael Tsarion proposed on the basis of his research that Earth was bombed back to the stone age in the war between Lemuria and Atlantis and the Atlantean remnants reestablished themselves in Sumeria. High atmosphere nuclear conflict could account for the formation of the Van Allen radiation belt.
    3) Genetic engineering.

    • calibrator says:

      Are you testing a limited hangout right now?

      First the believable multiple personality subject, then ancient civilization stuff?


      • fieldmouse says:

        Believability, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

        The Van Allen belt speculation is a research question. Both George Green and Michael Tsarion reported that a new radiation band was formed recently by nuclear testing.

        Well calibrated words are effective for communication.
        This brings to mind another department of propaganda studies. The changing of the definition of words. Many words are changing their meaning, for instance trauma, green, left, man, fact, nationalist, peace. The nudging and drifting of this process by carefully seeding propaganda into the culture is subtle and effective. A galling example is the deliberate misuse of phobia to mean hate, which it has never meant before. This was introduced with xenophobia and has spread from there.

  3. eugene.k says:

    Wonderful show James, thank you.

    I thought you might find this book helpful for your studies in propaganda: “The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies.” If you do not have this text already, I can send it as a pdf. It contains some useful historical background.

    James, you are one of the best on the Internet for conveying what needs to be known by so many of us–if you can stand another compliment. You are much appreciated.


  4. altamont says:

    One of the most fact-based propaganda efforts that I’ve noticed is the “sustainable development” propaganda effort by the UN. It employs many “facts” of climate data trends, while peddling a vague sort of “solution” that masks the real motives of the purveyors of this misinformation. All the classic characteristics of propaganda are on display here: facts that serve the propaganda narrative, (facts that don’t are not mentioned), lack of context, and fear-mongering. Fear is essential to making people accept a resource-based future that herds them into small areas where it is deemed people may still live, while seizing land from indigenous peoples around the globe. At the same time, the facts that support individual autonomy as a basis for achieving a liveable planet are not mentioned; this idea is not even seen as a possibility.

    Thanks for a great segment!

  5. danscaf says:

    The phrase ‘perception is reality’ comes to mind when thinking about this topic, doesn’t it? In my view, one of the major arenas for lies by omission and selective reasoning is politics. It’s all perception management. The whole political discourse seems to be structured that way. All the way down to the individual voter who gets their talking points from their respective outfits and then disseminates them. Whether they are aware that they only argue over one tree when there is a whole forrest around them I don’t know, but most everyone who is locked into a certain ideology does that. It is maddening, and I don’t do it anymore, to try to open up the perspective of someone who turned from wave to particle. It’s like looking at a fractal. You think you’re looking/talking at something/someone unique, but it’s all the same. They became a copy of the system they’re part of. Ants in a colony. Gears in a machine.

  6. ejp says:

    In reference to your example: Photographic evidence of horrific
    GERMAN/NAZI crimes against humanity: specifically against Poles,
    both jewish and christian.
    Well, i suspect photographic evidence of RUSSIAN/STALINIST crimes
    agains humanity, specifically against the POLISH aristocracy and elites,
    primarily christian but also jewish could have enflamed AMERICAN opinion
    Of course, instead the RUSSIANS became our GREAT ALLIES during WWII,
    until they weren’t, starting with the post 1945 COLD WAR.
    Propaganda is Marketing: making a target audience BUY one Model of truth
    over another model of TRUTH: that is, SELLING people CHEVY over FORD, or GM over “foreign imports”, etc…..

    • Duck says:

      One of the things that woke me up to how people lie was reading a guys memoir of being in a concentration camp and meeting a pole who told him all about the katyn massacre.
      About a year later I cam across an article about the Russians admitting to doing that particular crime.
      Either the guy in the camp lied or the writer lied….it only took a couple of things like that for me to realize that much as I loved history it was way more complex then I’d thought, more like a puzzle or a mystery movie

      • calibrator says:

        I see “history” as it is officially known as an old tapestry full of holes and patches. The patches of course represent lies that cover up the “truth”, other parts are simply being withheld from us.

        This is being done of course to keep the establishment at the rudder.

        The problem is that, like in a museum, we have to keep a certain distance from the “art” and thus often can’t recognize the patches and most of the holes from behind the fence.

        It gets even worse when you try to repair the tapestry yourself:
        “You are not qualified as you didn’t study history in a renowned institution!”
        “Your opinion deviated from most historians? You are automatically wrong!”
        “What? You don’t parrot the official histories of the World Wars etc.?”
        “You revisionist scum!!!”

        • generalbottlewasher says:

          Calibrator, I have often wondered where the term ” no good deed ever goes unpunished around here.”, originated from?
          I now have an idea. Thanks.

  7. calibrator says:

    Here’s a WW2 example for propaganda working with lies:

    Especially the part “Radio Stations”.

  8. generalbottlewasher says:

    I’ve been awaiting something like this to come up. I will not comment till I have heard what James has to say first. Imagine that!
    It goes back to the WW1 documentary James did and fact checking Docherty and Macgregor “Hidden History”. Im putting my precog intuition in check here and am curios if that is an improvement or hindrance. Do you have any experience in what Im suggesting here?

    Back in a minute. I have a feeling James will go much deeper that I can imagine.

    • generalbottlewasher says:

      Yes he did! What a mind. From the research of Gerry Docherty and James Macgregor they uncovered two such books of propaganda. One by a big honcho, Sydney Bradshaw Fay, Professor of modern European history at Smith College, “THE ORIGINS OF WORLD WAR”. The other by a subordinate named Barnes, ” The Genesis of War”.
      Fay and Barnes tag teamed the contemporary history magazines and produced books on the sensational proclamation that Germany was not solely to be held accountable for War Guilt! That Russia and France where to blame for most of the war guilt and the Kaiser was a good guy. However the “profidios English” were never mentioned. Lord Milner and the despicable round table of criminal war mongers of the Boar War machinations born out of South Africa and Empire were craftily protected and no mention of England’s role was put forward.

      I believe it was the Anglo-American Establishments attempt to soften and counter the anti German propaganda that was so effective just 5 years before. The run up to WW2 was in gear in 1924 and the paid academics where in full propaganda mode by 1929. Imagine the effort and time to hand draw all the architecture plans for the factories and logistics for American manufacturers to move in on that decimated country in such a limited time frame. Train, steamship and light trucks all set into motion from across the Atlantic, with the sole intended purpose of gathering slave labor to man the enterprise. Talk about the Minds of Men. They pulled it off with disastrous consequences. Had to sell the moves to the public. They of course were the last to know the game that was afoot.

  9. Kedi says:

    I think the exact distinction between marketing, e.g. of consumer products which is often nefarious, and propaganda is a moot point.
    However, the point well made by Corbettt is that we should always consider what’s being ommitted or too heavily focused on.

  10. Jack_King says:

    Evening James,

    The reporting on the fact that a true crisis is occurring in Venezuela is not a lye (yet conveniently forgetting to explain why there is a crisis in the first place, and by doing so attempting to support intervention and/or ironically more sanctions).

    Reporting things are worsening in Venezuela by the day is not a lye(conveniently forgetting to mention the additional amount of sanctions as the cause again)

    It is also actually not a lye, when saying it IS Maduro’s fault by not leaving office (yet forgetting to mention they want him to leave office to surrender the country to an appointed puppet to allow capitalistic exploitation of the respurces).

    It also is not a lye when reporting when mass demonstrations are taking place in Venezuela (yet conveniently forgetting to report on the foreign agencies actively funding and instigating these demonstrations and the sanctions that made the people despair into uprising)

    The reduced Accountability by reporting half-truths like this, Is just one of more advantages, compared to previous stories about baby’s and incubators, weapons of mass deception, muslims boxcutters and planes, chloride canisters being dropped here and there etc etc.

  11. hfuchs says:

    I am a 72 year old USA expat living in SW Mexico and trying rather dismally to learn Mexican Spanish. In my efforts, my teacher and I would often discuss world events as a subject to learn the language. What became clear quickly was that the word propaganda has no negative connotation here and is used in the traditional sense of marketing or advertising.

    I think your fundamental question revolves around the question of what truth is (as opposed to is is). If certain truthful facts are cherry picked to build an argument while facts that would weaken or destroy that argument are deliberately withheld or censored, then it is propaganda in the pejorative sense. Not rocket science.

    In American criminal law, if the prosecution discloses to the defense only the findings in their investigation that would lead to a guilty verdict, and hides from the defense exculpatory evidence from their investigation, that is grounds for overturning a conviction.

    • mkey says:

      and hides from the defense exculpatory evidence from their investigation, that is grounds for overturning a conviction.

      If the defence ever finds out about those findings or manages to do their own research. I’d say the entire judicial process is as framed as can be.

      A problem I have with truth is: how does one know what’s true? But otherwise, I’d mostly agree with your assessment about what’s really driving propaganda, and that is framing and context.

  12. Duck says:

    1) British invention of concentration camps and their wars of aggression made excellent ww2 propaganda for the germans
    2) The real Soviet desire to expand into the western hemisphere was an excellent excuse for a continuation of US imperial policy in S.America
    3) The fact that most habitual drug users are low life troublemaker scumbags is an excellent excuse for ‘war on drugs’ state power grab against regular people
    4) The real power exercised by the Israel lobby over the US government is being used to feed antisemitism (probably to aid some other deep power actor get some of that power)
    5)The fact that Henry Ford was a racist A@£@$@ who liked Hitler is used to make his exposure of Banker class and ‘jewish lobby’ of that time un-digestible to normal people
    6) The Koch bro’s spent plenty of money digging up real dirt on the left…. while their dad was one of the capitalist looters who were all over soviet russia and re-built it (as was Henry Ford the arch anti-semetite anti-commie… who’s tractor design licensing allowed the horrible collectivization)
    7) The real support that the Bolsheviks got from bankers and the high jewish make up of its leadership (Dr Richard B Spence -NOT richard SpenceRRRR!!- writes a lot on this) is used to feed anti-Semitism now
    8)The whole Pizzagate thing which is pretty believable strikes me as being part of a fight between the elites…. if they exposed a 1/4 of the pedo’s any administration could do almost anything and still be thought ‘great’
    9) The real catholic chrch sex scandals have broken most of the conservative social power of the church… letting other powers have their way with social engineering DR E Michael Jones is a(very catholic) but good source on that.
    10) The real abuse and harm done to homosexuals in the past is used to promote the acceptance of LITTLE KIDS dancing at gay bars and the use of hormones on small children to change sex along with other social changes that are not designed to benefit the average person or make them happier
    11)The fact the the government lies thru its teeth is used to make people believe all manner of insane ideas WITHOUT VETTING THEM AT ALL so that…. (to paraphrase walter bowart on the CIA abetted drug revolution) their minds expand to the point they cant tell LSD from heroin
    12) THIS guy (link below) makes excellent propaganda because he points out the propaganda of movies, steering the listener into a rather dark place. Not saying I agree with his political opinions but I think he is THE BEST at showing social changes and how media accomplishes them in movie media… he’s also kinda dark and homophobic in his outlook so (as always) watch with caution ON propaganda as a tool

  13. zyxzevn says:

    Found this related article:
    Advertising is a cancer on society

    So, if advertising is already a cancer, how bad is propaganda?

    • Jack_King says:

      If one starts to see governments as armed corporate entities, (almost) controlling every form of known media to deliver information, should one then still need to differentiate between propaganda and marketing? The title of the book James is reading is a dead give-away: “Selling war”

      Or start using racketeering instead.

      • zyxzevn says:

        The “government” consists of different groups.
        And depending on the state, different parts are corrupt and
        into crimes and/or wars.
        And most of them should be in prison, but are somehow
        untouchable. Much worse than Epstein, as they are causing
        the deaths of people.

        Israel is already bombing countries.
        The US is only waiting for the opponents to respond.

        Similar problems are created by other government-entities,
        but to a lesser extend.

        They are creating wars, with or without propaganda.

        And many people in these governments actually think that
        they are doing a good job.
        I think that we should target those people, and make them
        aware what is really happening.
        And by whom they are manipulated.
        It is just as in WW1, but now mainly the intelligence agencies
        are using them to sell drugs and weapons.

        The super-elite like the Rothchilds, are also trying to profit of it,
        but their agenda seems destabilization, not destruction.

      • Duck says:

        ‘…Or start using racketeering instead….’
        “War is a racket”….Smedley D. Butler, two (and a half…..) time medal of honor winner said it best, before his sudden death from stomach issues
        The western elitess were selling drugs like sugar, coffee, tobbacco and opium for centuries. The opium wars are like… wow, fighting a war FOR DRUG SALES….
        drugs is how FDR’s delano ancestors got rich

        • Duck says:

          ‘Extra History’ on the youtube has a good primer on the opium wars for anyone who is interested

        • Jack_King says:


          Also Wesley Clark actually spelled it out for anyone not seeing it yet, who was listening?

          It is insane if you think about it…certain people sacrifice their life based on a lye (magic caveman remotely ordering planes in to buildings), they join the army, filled with patriotism. Travel to someone else’s country uninvited, stay for 18 years while shooting the whole place to bits, seeing friends die, get injured or killed in the process, returning home when lucky yet severely traumatized and disillusioned (too many commit suicide) and as a bonus/reward if they have overcome all this, they come to realize they were there to guard the poppy plantations? And the opium is sent back home to create a mass addiction epidemic that kills thens and tens of thousands, while making a small group of people filthy rich in the process

          What gives? At what point is the mass population going to collectively say: “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

  14. Drazen says:

    An example of a fact being used to peddle the deception is the the Kennedy assassination.

    It’s a fact, as far as I can tell, that Kennedy was shot in the head. The lies start from there.

  15. sherry.a says:

    “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.”

    Gore Vidal

  16. alexandre says:

    Jesus, really? Back to 101? I thought this was already well understood.
    “If it’s true it’s marketing, if it isn’t it’s propaganda” is about the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. I can assure you that the word “truth” is the last thing you’ll ever find in an ad agency – which supposedly deals only with marketing. And over here (Brazil) the Portuguese word for advertising is “propaganda”. No distinction.

    From my days in advertising, it could be said that advertising sells products while propaganda sells ideology, or advertising is directed to profit while propaganda aims towards some political end. But even that is not true anymore, if it ever was, because advertising started selling “life styles”, i.e. behavior, anguish for such life, depression, desire, anxiety etc. From “Our toothpaste is the best!” (informative and simple) to “In a land far away…” – and you never know exactly what the ad is selling.

    What I’ve learned is that 99.99% of any media is propaganda/advertising, now including productions such as false flags, mass shootings, wars etc. The “ad production style” isn’t perceived unless you worked in advertising for a long time. Then it is so obvious that is unbelievable that people fall for it over and over again – example: elections. But you have that even on the inside. I worked with another musician in a studio and he did almost the same emotional track every time, just changing some little details to fool everyone, and people always fell for it. He told me once “They don’t know. And I know exactly in what chord they’ll cry”. I know; a minor 6th chord in the right place is guaranteed to produce many tears. Talk about manipulation. So even people in the studio, who knew about ads, fell for this guy’s little manipulation, and that’s why he was “the best” in the field.

    Examples of propaganda? Everything Hollywood ever produced, with so few exceptions that they are irrelevant. Selling….persuading….convincing….indoctrinating….isn’t it all the same? Other examples – anything ever produced for/by television. More examples? Games, Facebook, Instagram, your friends, your family, the church, your boss….everything by now is part of one single gigantic ongoing perenial advertising campaign which could be called Agenda 21, or Brave New World (they don’t care what you call it, as long as you love digital and their technology more than God, forever).

    When you are involved in an ad production, everything in the environment is about that campaign. The campaign now is the New World, so everything and everyone is part of that. And since no one knows it, they are honestly thinking they are living life, oblivious to the fact that they’re actors, directors, photographers, stylists, musicians, doctors etc (what is called “profession”), so that’s a good example of how truth not only can be, but always MUST BE part of propaganda. Lucifer always acts through truth, otherwise he would be ineffective. Paranoid, you say? Yeah, I used to think so too.

    More specific examples? Here’s one: The music for Schindler’s List, composed by John Williams, played by NL Orchestra, where at time 3:24 the English Horn player, playing the tune in the orchestra (!), cries. How about that? It’s a soundtrack for a HOLLYWOOD MOVIE, and she’s crying. The music is true, very well composed, serious, deep bla bla, but still…it’s music for a movie that SELLS and idea, and a very important one for the Masters of the Universe upstairs.

    • generalbottlewasher says:

      Alex, very well said however what comes to my mind is the word diversification, propaganda seems to be the manifestation of TPTSB being diversified . From the root causes, the social con’s, come the marketing that turns to propaganda when the lie becomes more important than the goal. That to me is the devil in the details.
      That was a very good explanation of music selling an idea. Music as a force from afar influencing action at a distance. What a potent sorcery . I’ve seen a few temples around the U.S. and they all had an orchestra pit.

      • alexandre says:

        generalbottlewasher, you must forgive me, but I don’t know what TPTSB means, so I didn’t get the first part. Looking for it, I found this video of Abby Martin talking about propaganda, so … I’m intrigued.

        About music, yes, I must say it’s one of the most, if not the most potent weapon for emotional manipulation. I just made a video, part of a master-class I’m trying to produce, where I talk about that, exactly because of this video by Corbett. Music is automatic, it works immediately and it is truthful by default – it can’t be anything else. You put two chords together and the effect is inevitable. Maybe if you’re an indian from some remote place that never heard western music, then maybe the effect won’t be the same, but overall it’s direct, automatic and infalible. I did that all my life, regretfully, that is, producing music for advertising, i.e. manipulating emotions. I even did some for a political campaign for the last elections, with a supermarket bag over my head. You use the tricks to uplift and aggrandize those putrid bastards, asking God’s forgiveness at every bar. If I didn’t need the money so much, I wouldn’t ever do it. But yes, it works directly to the emotional center. Only being a musician you can see all the tricks, but the majority just gets eaten every time. For no other reason pop music is what it is, and hip hop was so violently taken over and transformed from a genuine movement to a vomit that sells the exact opposite. (See Professor Griff). So on and so forth, I could go on for ages.

        I’ll wait the TPTSB translation so I can reply the first part. Sorry for that.

        • generalbottlewasher says:

          Alex, TPTSB, This is an acronym for ” The Powers That Shouldn’t Be ” I do apologize for not posting it along side the above comment. It may be an “colloquial idiom” to this site only. I’ve seen it sparingly here and there, but mostly here. It is certainly slang in this post truth time.

          • alexandre says:

            I knew I was gonna go “duh!” when you told me. Ok, but even now I still don’t quite get your point about the diversification. Must be my English. Come again.

            • generalbottlewasher says:

              Alex , the thought at the time was better than the transcription on paper. Im afraid its my english, not yours.
              The spark for my thought was your comment above, quote”… is about the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my entire life.”
              I may have topped the list with this one.

              The word diversifacation popped up in my head as a necessary component of propaganda campaigns. How many ways can you spin a message ( or tune ) to accomplish the desired response. Half truths and out and out lies always seem to be present and in propaganda’s case over marketing, the more the reinforcing the better the results, there by minimizing being exposed as a fraudulent endeavor. We have a saying here-abouts, it goes like ” convinced by overwhelming evidence… ” .
              I think we get more at the truth by music than by words. More truthful stimulation of the sense of ourselves in relation to life. Words diverse to the point of noise, diluting the sences, specially english. English seems perfectly suited to propaganda. Music seems not to suffer those prejudices of locale dialects. Chants without words mean much more than the sum of the individual parts to me. Which reminds me of the latin origin of the word propaganda. ” a call to propagate the beliefs of the faithful.” or something similar.

              • alexandre says:

                I think I get it, but I may be wrong. In my mind the thing is simple – when you know how an ad campaign is produced from zero to the final campaign, which by the way is very diversified. The TV commercial is only one of the jobs, then you have internet, magazines, billboards, radio, cinema etc. So if I apply that system, the commercial advertising production system, to everything else, somehow it fits, therefore I say that everything now is an ad campaign, and that there’s only one campaign now going on, the Brave New World campaign. And people are the professionals doing it – actors, producers, directors, gaffer, key-grip etc, just like any movie production, but they don’t know it. We think we are just living our lives, and in a sense we are, but it’s not life, it’s the campaign – diversified like a bastard, yes. I can see it clearly and I’m baffled that no one seems to understand it – maybe it’s just too extreme, or hard to admit, or people don’t know how advertising works, I don’t know. To me advertising, marketing and propaganda are the same thing, just different products and clients. The target remains the same.

                Words, yes, it’s a problem to me. I never liked operas. The only time when words stop and you have music, someone comes in singing (speaking), and the text is always that same old soap opera stuff of love, drama, treason, death, power, bla bla bla. Can’t anyone leave music in peace for one second? On the other hand it would be hard to explain 9/11 or Palestine with only music. There’s time for words and there’s time for music. Shakespeare (or whoever that was) shows how much truth you can get with words, when they’re honest. Maybe that’s the problem. Words are not used more properly.

                I don’t know, it’s getting late.

  17. greyhaven says:

    Another question(s) is: When do mind control techniques (or when do algorhythms) function as propaganda? Here’s an article from on Google’s use of both to sway people into believing vaccines are good and safe and the other rot they use to further the eugenics agenda. There is some measure of truth in their propaganda. Measles and mumps are, indeed, childhood (and possibly adult) illnesses. .

  18. m.clare says:

    Carbon Dioxide IS a greenhouse gas. There WAS a forest fire in Central Alberta.


    • manbearpig says:

      Speaking of sophistry have you seen this?:

      Using the Truth of the atrocities of U.S. foreign Policy to neutralize the BDS campaign while pretending to be a champion of Palestinian rights:

      Can Truth be Propaganda? When it’s couched in sophistry and used to administer a critical lie then yes:

      How about this exquisite sophistry hypocritically wielding the term “conspiracy theory”

      When I heard “Manufacturing Consent” that Mr. Vérandas referred to in the last RippleHat Swapcast, I thought of this quote:

      “…His recommendation that people practice “intellectual self-defence” is well taken.

      But how many could dream the person warning you is one of the most perilous against whom you’ll need to defend yourself?

      That he is the fire marshal who wires your house to burn down, the lifeguard who drowns you, the doctor with the disarming bedside manner who administers a fatal injection? If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order he is worth 50 armoured division. “…”

      -Barrie Zwicker, Towers of Deception

  19. Propoganda by truth, propoganda by omission.
    Excuse my sensitivity but the people on the British isles were also the victims of war propogandists.

  20. flammable says:

    A commonly used true propaganda is airstrikes killing civilians. Particularly in Syria. Both the MSM and Alt media blame one side who is bombing civilians and hospitals.
    The MSM blames Assad and Russia for bombing civilians which is true. The Alt media and state sponsor media point out countries like the US, England, SA, Israel bombing civilians which is also true.
    The full context is that is impossible to not kill civilians with airstrikes. Most of the country is civilian areas with millions of people. The actual number of extremists only number in the tens of thousands. Plus factor in that bombs in general produces large blast radius. The results will always end with dead civilians regardless of the intent to kill terrorists.

  21. craigtp says:

    Is a false flag event also propaganda?
    Certainly the image of the twin towers billowing smoke was used as a symbol to sway public opinion. These catastrophic occurrences have all been attempts to alter our emotional response in order to affect change. Change in the laws we pass to protect ourselves by eliminating our right to privacy or change in how we feel about another country.
    Truth as propaganda is an excellent debatable topic. While yes, those pictures were probably authentic of German brutalities occurring, did they have to be authentic? If only one of the pictures was staged, is that still an example of truth as propaganda?
    Another great podcast with an excellent topic.

  22. woody says:

    I have a few historical sources for the definition:

    Encyclopaedia Britannica Micropaedia (1980): the systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of various symbols – words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, and so forth.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica Macropaedia (1980): Propaganda is the more of less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of symbols (words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, hairstyles, designs on coins and postage stamps, and so forth). A relatively heavy emphasis on deliberateness and manipulativeness distinguishes propaganda from casual conversation or the free and easy exchange of ideas. The propagandist has a specified goal or set of goals. To achieve these he deliberately presents a selection of facts, arguments, and displays of symbols in ways he thinks will have the most effects. To maximize effects, he may omit pertinent facts, and he may try to divert the attention of the reactors (the people whom he is trying to sway) from everything but his own propaganda.
    Comparatively deliberate selectivity and manipulatiiveness also distingush propaganda from education. The educator tries to present various sides of an issue – the grounds for doubting as well as the grounds for believing the statements he makes, and the disadvantages as well as the advantages of every conceivable course of action. Education aims to induce the reactor to collect and evaluate evidence for himself and assists him in learning the techniques for doing so. It must be noted, however, that a given propagandist may look upon himself as an educator, may believe that he is uttering the purest truth, that he is emphasizing or distorting certain aspects of the truth only to make a valid message more persuasive, and that the courses of action that he recommends are in fact the best actions that the reactor could take. By the same token, the reactor who regards the propagandist’s message as self-evident truth may think of it as educational; this often seems to be the case with “true believers” – dogmatic reactors to dogmatic religious or social propaganda. “Education” for one person may be “propaganda” for another.

    Chambers Encyclopedic English Dictionary (1994): the organized circulation by a political group, etc of information, misinformation, rumour or opinion, preseted so as to influence public feeling; also the material circulated in this way. [from the Roman Catholic Congregatio de propaganda fide ‘congregation for propagating the faith’, responsible for foreign missions and training missionaries]

    The Australian Modern Oxford Dictionary (2007): 1. Organised propagation of a doctrine, religion, cause, etc., by use of publicity; selected information, etc. 2. (usu. derog.) the ideas etc. so propagated (neo-Nazi propaganda; vicious anti-Semitic propaganda).

    Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (1999): The Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith (New Latin Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide) iss a committee of cardinals in 1622 for propagating the faith throughout the world. Hence the term is applied to any scheme, association, publication or the like for making PROSELYTES or influencing public opinion in political, social and religious matters.

    Oxford English Reference Dictionary (2002): 1a. an organized propramme of publicity selected information, etc., used to propagate a doctrine, practice, etc. b. usu. derog. the information, doctrines, etc., propagated in this way, esp. regarded as misleading or dishonest. 2. RC Ch. a committee of cardinals responsible for foreign missions. [it. f. mod.L congregatio de propaganda fide congreagtion for propagation of the faith]

    I also have Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000 CD-ROM but it doesn’t seem to work on Windows 7.

  23. rob.h says:

    From Day 1, I have seen the limits put on information that I have been looking for. One day the website and video were there, the next it wasn’t. I wouldn’t worry about it James, the truth will come out. My example would be music. You always see a song being posted for free, then taken down.. then re-posted..then taken down.. until the people policing the policies run out of funds. That is it. That is why currency, free from control, needs to be accessible to all. That is happening and the truth will follow it. And once enough truth comes to light, as to how to remove your chains and become free, we all will be free.. if we so choose.

  24. says:

    From Shorter Oxford English Dictionary – 1947

    Propaganda – 1. A committee of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church having the care and oversight of foreign missions, founded in 1622

    2. Any association, systematic scheme, or concerted movement for the propagation of a particular doctrine or practice. Sometimes erroneously treated as a plural.

  25. fire says:

    From my 1968 hard copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Propaganda is the making of deliberately one-sided statements to a mass audience… (It is) an act of advocacy in mass communication. / In order to reach a mass audience, propagandists rely upon every medium of communication — oral, printed, pictorial, plastic, musical or dramatic. Every new channel is promptly laid hold of… Propaganda as an act of advocacy is distinguished from such closely allied uses of communication as instruction, information and inquiry. / It increases whenever the equilibrium of society is threatened or upset, and decreases with the restoration of the imperiled equilibrium or the emergence of a new level of adjustment. / One long-run objective of totalitarian policy is the substitution of ritual and ceremony for discussion and persuasion, hence propaganda… (Such) leaders live in perpetual anxiety of losing control and require the reassuring balm of ritual adulation. All this is in vivid contrast to the operation of a free society which revels in the clash of news and views. / Tactics… The choices open to the tactician are ultimately to disseminate, to withhold or modify a statement; to use, omit or block a channel; to select or reject a person. / (To win) confidence… (they sometimes) adhere to the truth, especially by playing up statements which the audience can directly verify… (or even toning) down true statements, not to deceive, but to sound plausible. ‘

    The 1968 Britannica entry for “propaganda” closes with a caution. When discerning propaganda from other forms of advocacy, consider:

    ‘Does the calculated manipulation of attitudes (information) imply a denial or disrespect for freedom of opinion? This is true if the forum of information is not equally accessible to all and if educational opportunities are only open to the privileged.”

    Who knows? Mere possession of pre-internet books like this one could be construed as a thought crime. Whenever I pass through TSA, I always leave my 1968 Webster’s New World Dictionary, second college edition behind. It stubbornly defines “ground zero” as strictly “the surface area below or above the point of detonation of a nuclear bomb.” High school graduates in 2019 may not know this but… prior to September 11, 2001, this designation referred only to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  26. Waterbear says:

    Here is an interesting article on mind control by Brandon Smith at

    How Real Mind Control Works

  27. manbearpig says:

    Now, Jon Oliver is just a Blast in this episode taking apart all that is misleading about “Scientific Studies”: a LOT of FUN!

    UNTIL you get to the 15:06 mark. (the real punchline!)

    Indeed, Watch in awe at how Truth and humor are used as

    “…Any association, systematic scheme, or concerted movement for the propagation of a particular doctrine or practice…” ( post)


    …“Propaganda is the making of deliberately one-sided statements to a mass audience… ” (prize-winner Fire’s post)

    See how truth is used to sugarcoat THE propaganda messages and stigmatize dissidents.

    And you thought it was all just fun and games between friends…

    (now I’m late for my first day of VACATION!!!!!)

    more examples to follow I hope after the beach, the barbacue, the farmer’s market, happy hour… you get the idea!!


  28. docv says:

    Excellent point and a very important one.
    I must apologize for not reading all the comments posted in this section, so I might repeat what someone else has already posted.
    In my humble opinion, one of the major subjects where a lot of propaganda is used is “Climate Change” so much so, that we cannot see anymore where the truth lies …
    My 2 cents worth …

  29. Octium says:

    An example of true propaganda used in a different war “The War of the currents” from 1888.

    Where animals were Westinghoused (Electrocuted) by Thomas Edison’s company to demonstrate how dangerous AC current was in order to discredit the Westinghouse’s use of AC (Competing with Edison’s use of DC)

  30. HomeRemedySupply says:

    I think Corbett stresses an extremely important aspect: “context”.

    Even the definition of a word, varies by context. Many, many words have a variety of different definitions.
    Even a paragraph’s meaning is dependent upon the context of the Chapter.
    Even a joke delivers its punch line, because the context previously set-up the punch.

    Some everyday examples of “Can Truth Be Propaganda?”

    ~~ Spousal arguments or incidents.
    Suppose a wife shows her friends the bruise on her arm and tells her friends that the husband was mean and brutalized her physically when he lost his temper.
    However, she may not convey the full context, that she verbally abused and denigrated the husband when he had just come home from a long day at work and had been up all the night prior with one of the sick kids. The husband tells her to “Go to hell you b___. I want to shower, eat and go to bed.” She loses it. And starts scratching and hitting him. He firmly grabs her arm to stop the physical blows. It causes a bruise.

    ~~ Workers and Employers
    There are any number of examples which we see everyday. A worker complains that the boss is always riding him unjustly. The worker doesn’t mention his own incompetence or laziness, while it is true that the boss rides the worker.

    ~~ Tabloid headlines are full of “out of context” stories and rumor gossip built on a “truth”.
    Even the photos. Perhaps a celebrity had a bad hair day, or wasn’t expecting someone to climb over the fence and take a picture while sunbathing.

  31. mybeatenheart says:

    on nasa’s official climate propaganda site
    we read, amongst other nothingburgers james has already dealt with (like the “95% certainty” that climate science is correct), the bold claim that earth is warming up roughly 10 times faster than it is supposed to, when compared to other periods in the past, when earth was coming out of its respective ice-ages.

    the citation backing this claim up leads to another page of nasa itself (where else?), where we can now try to understand how they arrived at that ever so convincing number (10x).
    here it says:
    “As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.”

    read this again and tell me if you notice something slightly off here.
    now for the sake of argument, let’s assume that indeed, all these numbers are reliable and highly scientific (which i have my doubts about). does something strike you as odd here?
    and i dont mean the fact that they rounded up a 5 to 8.75-fold increase to “roughly” 10-fold (that’s like saying a cup of coffee that costs between 5 to 8.75 bucks in a particular part of town, costs, you know, roughly 10 dollars. i guess nasa already included the tip 😉 )

    i’ll explain in a second comment, because i don’t know how much 3000 characters per comment actually is.

    • mybeatenheart says:

      i’m talking about the fact that they blatantly compare 100 apples to 5000 oranges and think they can get away with it.
      the average temperature (which we all know can only be constructed, not measured) during a century goes up and down and round-about, and at the end of the century you arrive at a higher number than you started with, or you calculate a median or what you will, and you come to the conclusion “alright, this century has seen a 0.7 degree increase in temperature. time to head for the beach.”
      now how about a 5000-year period? does the temperature move up slowly, incrementally, each year a few millimeters up on the imaginary thermometer?
      of course not! in fact, i’m willing to bet a 5k year period could see several centuries during which the average temperature could go a degree or two up or even down, and then stay more or less stable for a couple of hundred years.
      the whole argument makes no sense. unless they want to suggest that the temperature will always keep rising at least 0.7 degrees every century from now. which would result in a whoppin’ 35 degrees increase when this current 5000 year period is over. but i don’t think even they believe it works like that.

      so in conclusion, this piece of propaganda (or is it even deserving of being called propaganda, i think bs would be a more accurate term), does not exactly lie (except for the grossly overpriced coffee), it just uses a purely mathematical argument that completely falls to the ground, if you so much as even start to think about it.
      it is a “dummy” information. but for those who want to believe , it is enough to point to this placeholder for real proof, so if they ever needed any, they feel they could refer to it any time.
      but if they ever did, and actually looked at this “proof”, they would discover – yes. another nothingburger…

    • mkey says:

      That’s an interesting point you’re making. I didn’t know about that 10x thing and I bet 99.97% of people didn’t invest any time into dissecting it as you did.

      Statics should be used very carefully and that’s what this type of arguments typically boils down to.

      Like the mentioned 97% figure. Why 97%? because 32/33 is 0.97. Why 32/33? Because the study that “studied” 2000 scientific papers found (over the weekend by reading abstracts) that 1 one of these works concluded there is no anthropogenic global warming while 32 haven’t excluded the anthropogenic nature of global warming. Other works didn’t seem to make any statements on global warming whatsoever. Hence 97% of scientists agree that blah blah blah. Repeat ad nauseam, add Obama to the mix and keep repeating.

      Good luck explaining that to Joe Sixpack and Joan Soccermom.

  32. Libertydan says:

    Comment #46, eh!
    My definition of “Propaganda” is that it is a Means that is used to manipulate the minds of the masses (not always for evil).
    There are numerous examples throughout history of Artists being paid for their talents to create works (most often paintings), whereby the Artist hides “propaganda” with in his creation.
    Some examples that come to mind are;
    The huge wall painting at the Detroit Art Museum done by a famous French Artist and paid for by Henry Ford. Ford hired this world famous Painter so as the have a world renown artifact to glorify the auto industry. He allowed the Artist to go through the factories and study the industry prior to creating his master piece for the main wall of the Museum. What Ford could only see as a great achievement in the productivity of man, is not what most people come away with after analyzing the painting. Indeed, men hard at work doing their assigned compartmentalized job, can be perceived differently by the viewer. Ford, was likely happy with the Painting, yet most of us see men reduced to performing like machines (or as machines would one day be able to perform).
    Another example of a Painting that could qualify as good propaganda was hired out by one of the Rockefeller’s to be done by a famous Artist for the Rockefeller Center. Again, the Artist was able to present “the Truth” to be seen by different eyes. Some people see the world differently.

  33. Gayruntee says:

    The coverage of Hurricane Barry a few weeks ago on the gulf coast was so much propaganda it was a bit nuts. Living on the gulf coast, I absolutely understand the need to take a storm seriously but this was downgraded to a tropical storm and it still made international news! I had people calling me from the U.K. asking if I was ok because they were being shown images of Katrina.

    Shame on the corporate news for sending people into a panic! All that hullabaloo for a light rain. Funny thing though, the local news coverage was completely different. Cautious but chill and no Katrina images.

  34. cropduster says:

    James, could you be putting out propaganda? Don’t get me wrong, love your work, but here is something to consider.

    My history with RoundUp and life on the farm
    July 26, 2019
    By David Kruse – Columnist , Farm News
    Save |
    Part 1 of a series
    I was born in 1952 in Spencer and my life on the farm near Royal started before the Green Revolution. I went to college at SDSU in 1970 studying agronomy and read how we were on the cusp of a worldwide famine due to a population explosion and that agriculture as we knew it would be helpless to increase productivity enough to avoid it. The doom and gloom forecast of worldwide famine in the 1970’s and 1980’s was publicized in the book, “The Population Bomb,” by Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich.
    The agriculture that I grew up with was what they essentially call an organic farm operation today. We lived on a quarter section that we eventually expanded to 400 acres in order to make a living. On the home quarter section, we had some pasture for a small herd of milk cows where I chopped thistles with a hoe… the cow herd was eliminated when I was a senior in high school. We grew alfalfa, oats, corn and soybeans. We also fed cattle, hogs, and had laying hens. My father’s agricultural training was growing up on a farm and then attending farm school on the GI bill after a stint in the U.S. Army.
    Weed control when I was very young was relegated to a mechanical cultivator. We transitioned from a tractor front mounted cultivator to a rear mount and from 4 wide rows to 6 narrow rows and then to 12 narrow rows. Then we sold it and never cultivated again. We started by cultivating 3 times during a season because of the lack of herbicides. That eventually declined to 2 times and then once, before being phased out of the operation by use of herbicides.
    The first herbicide we used was 2-4D on corn and latter Banvel, which is now called Dicamba. Yes, it did drift over onto soybeans. It worked so well we used it anyway. The first herbicide widely used on soybeans was Treflon for grass control. Then came a few products for broadleaves on soybeans which were not spectacular. Through this whole period, we walked soybeans for weeds; typically, sunflowers, button weeds (velvetleaf) and cocklebur. Frankly, once thicker than fleas, you have to look hard in order to find any of these weeds locally these days. That is attributable to RoundUp.
    I started farming on my own in 1973 and RoundUp first came on the market in 1974. Walking soybeans was mostly child labor. It was a hard summer job in the sun that no one enjoyed. It was where parents taught their kids how to work. We used a hook or pulled the weeds. That is why some families had a lot of kids. They walked corn too. Then came RoundUp herbicide.

    [SNIP – Please keep comments to 500 words or less. -JC]

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      Sometimes you can break up a comment by replying to your previous comment. That allows one to post more than 500 words. But if it is a long diatribe, I would advise against it.

      I guess David Kruse’s article is behind a paywall. Copyrights….

      Here is the website of David Kruse’s business.

  35. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Electric Vehicles – Marketing or Propaganda or Guesswork?

    NEWS August 1, 2019
    Article by Irina Slav
    (I would like to see her do a review of “How and Why Big Oil Conquered the World” for

    Consumers Aren’t Crazy About Electric Cars

    “Enthusiasm among drivers is lacking about autonomous vehicles and even electric cars, J.D. Power’s latest Mobility Confidence Index has revealed.”

    “The results of the survey would be surprising—and bordering on shocking–for the proponents of EVs and all the headline space these vehicles are getting, with analyst forecasts for their adoption overwhelmingly optimistic. Unlike them, consumers are not as optimistic about the future of plug-in cars and self-driving vehicles.”

    “According to the survey, electric cars scored a mobility confidence index reading of 55 on a scale of 100. Self-driving cars scored even lower, at 36 points, which would hardly be a surprise since this technology has yet to mature, and developing trust in it would be a long process…”

    “… According to the survey, there are still a lot of people who wouldn’t buy an EV: just 39 percent said they would buy one. Even more people don’t believe EVs are as reliable as ICE cars: 51 percent. One thing the majority of respondents in the survey were positive about in EVs was their beneficial effect on the environment….”

    My personal note:
    I hate these new models of SUVs and their dang rear door which opens electronically. These doors open slowly and are so quirky to open. Daily, I see car owners try to open the rear back door, and they can’t get it work.

    I like the latch on my old SUV. I can open a door. I don’t need no robot.
    Heck, there are times I wish I had the old style roll-up windows.

    • mkey says:

      I have the “old” rollup windows and I like them. I don’t even have a central locking mechanism on my car.

      But I’m not sure why are such features being mashed into the topic of electric cars. EV can have as much superfluous electronics in there as EIC can.

  36. bashad says:

    Measles outbreak and promotion of vaccines.

  37. The first use of the truth to deceive occurred in the Garden of Eden. What the serpent spoke was true in one context and a lie in another. I tried to explain this to my kids at:

  38. mz77 says:

    I don’t have an encyclopedia Britannica, but I do have a Webster’s dictionary from 1959. I hope this of use.

    Prop.a.gan’da, n. [L., gerundive of propagare, to propagate.]
    1. [P-] in the Roman Catholic Church, a committee of cardinals, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, in charge of the foreign missions.
    2. Any organization or movement working for the propagation of particular ideas, doctrines, practices, ect……. [Just kidding 8-)] etc.
    3. The ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. spread in this way.
    4. Any systematic, widespread, deliberate indoctrination or plan for such indoctrination: now often used in a derogatory sense, connoting deception or distortion.

  39. mkey says:

    The vaccine issue is a good example of propaganda partially based on truth.

    The study angle: they’ll say there’s no evidence to support the case against studies, but they haven’t even looked at the issue in a scientifically pertinent way. Instead of performing proper saline studies, vaccines are stacked against other vaccines which are deemed safe, even if there are no studies to back up that claim.

    The vaccine effectiveness angle: they’ll claim the vaccine has killed off the disease and present a narrow graph in which the time starts with the introduction of the vaccine. The graph on a wider time frame will show that there were other factors driving the incidence of the disease down decades or centuries before the vaccine was first introduced.

    Reporting on side effects is kept deliberately on an anecdotal level. Any side effects that don’t arise within a few days of the vaccine being administered are kept outside of the discussion.

    Equivocation of toxic compound ingestion and the same being injected into the bloodstream is particularly insidious.

  40. mik says:

    Berliners have an unusual problem with bees, well uneducated hive owners.

    You see, bees are just fine (no insect half extinction), just these people…..

    • mik says:

      Holy crap, this one is maybe worse, comparing insecticide and drug addiction.
      So, insecticide problem exist (it is not acknowledged in the article) because insects are junkies.

      Guardian is really just for guardian-readers.

      • HomeRemedySupply says:

        Interesting articles.

        • mik says:

          Sure, excellent example of truth figuring as propaganda. The last article ends with:
          “Dr Gill added: Whilst neonicotinoids are controversial, if the effects of replacements on non-target insects are not understood, then I believe it is sensible that we take advantage of current knowledge and further studies to provide guidance for using neonicotinoids more responsibly, rather than necessarily an outright ban.”

          Disgusting, he sounds like mf lawyer.

          DuckDuckGo search for “guardian colony collapse disorder” gives one result, an article from six years ago. At least they wrote about CCD (what a perverse expression) once.

          Unfortunately, it’s not just bees that obviously have problems, I find other insects are also reduced. I forgot when I last had to clean windshield during a journey like I had to do decades ago.

  41. tiffany.p says:

    Does this count;

    In crime tv shows, the fbi is always hacking into anyone and everyone in search of the perpetrator, for the “greater good.” I use to love watching all of those crime shows Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and so on. I never noticed how nonchalant they are about spying on everyday people in their investigations. I know this is tv, but I think most of us can contest to predictive programming and the truth beneath the story telling. I believe that this is very telling about these departments. Our privacy is constantly dwindling in the real world as well as on screen. It is desensitizing us. Fooling us into lumping everything in to one category. Security over freedom.

    I hope that made sense.

  42. Octium says:

    Possible one for a future propaganda watch?

    I’ll put this under truthful propaganda because what they claim is basically true.

    On Monday the 21st of October a consortium of Australian mainstream media organizations (Alternative media not invited!) jointly published a full page mock redacted article on their front pages.

    For example, the front page of the Australian looked like this

    ████ News restrictions ████████ Secrecy ████ Jail terms ███████ for Journalist and whistleblowers ████ It couldn’t happen in Australia? ████████ It’s happening now ████ When the government ████ starts hiding ███ the truth ████ ████ from Australians ████████ what are they ████ covering up? ████████ The elderly ████ are being abused ████ inside our ████ nursing homes ████ The government ████ won’t tell you which ones. ████████ Government approves ████ huge sale of ████ agricultural land ████ to foreign countries ████ The tax office ████ can take ████████ money ████ directly out of ████ people’s accounts ████ But you’re not ████ allowed ████ to know.

    The government owned media joined in too!

    Of course the Guardian is always there to guard us!

    It’s all in the name of our right to know.

    In the last 18 years since 9/11 there have been over 75 bills passed that restrict Journalism, increase government secrecy and penalise whistleblowers – It’s nice to know that out mainstream media are quick off the mark and on the ball.

    Of course we need the holy priests of the media to forward whistleblower information to us, It’s not like whistleblowers could, say just upload information to the Internet themselves.

    We need the priests of the mainstream media to filter the information and make sure in is unbiased and truthful

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