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Propaganda and the science of persuasion

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

"Cunning and deceit will every time serve a man better than force to rise from a base condition to great fortune." - N. Machiavelli.

This is a compilation of my studies on public manipulation. For more similar content go to:



The "father of public relations" Edward Louis Bernays (1891-1995) is recognized as the pioneer of propaganda and in 1928 he wrote the book below, so this game have been played for a very long time! And no doubt been improved, perfected and heavily studied by certain people since.

Techniques of propaganda by Patrick Wood at

Fear: The most powerful emotion, fear of loss or physical harm open the mind up to accept the solutions provided by the propagandist, that would not otherwise have been accepted. The technique of fear has been the foundation of all pandemic-related propaganda.

Bandwagon: A claim is made that because everyone else is doing it, so you should too. This is often combined with other propaganda techniques. “Everyone is taking the shot because it is safe and effective; you should take it, too.”

Card Stacking: This technique highlights the “good” information while leaving out the “bad”. In other words, only the facts that support the propagandist’s agenda are presented, while everything else is intentionally suppressed. Censorship is rampant in media, social media and search engines.

Plain Folks: The propagandist implies that he is just an ordinary person like you, with the same dreams and desires, and therefore you should believe him.

The Testimonial: Using an unrelated person such as a celebrity, to give testimony that the propaganda is true and that you can trust them to tell you so. They might also appear as “plain folks” described above.

Glittering Generalities: Sweeping statements that cannot be defined, often containing vague “virtue words”. E.g., “This program will create equity for all” and “We will create millions of green jobs with this budget.”

Name Calling/Deflection: Ad hominem attacks deflect attention away from the propagandist and toward someone else. Al Gore once said concerning global warming, “Deniers deserved to be punished.” Today, it is claimed that America has a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

Transfer: This technique carries over the authority, prestige or acceptance of another group or organization, thus transferring those characteristics over to the propagandist’s program. Many churches, for instance, have been used to promote acceptance of pandemic propaganda by their congregations.

False Analogy: Two concepts are falsely linked together without any cause and effect. For example, “People who question vaccines are anti-vaxxers; Mary does not want the vaccine, so she is an anti-vaxxer.”

Either/Or Fallacy: With “black-and-white” thinking, only two choices are given, even though there might be other acceptable choices. This polarizes the issue and forces you to accept the desired outcome. For instance, “You are either for science or against it.”

Faulty Cause and Effect: This technique suggests that because A follows B, A must cause B. For example, Joe supports gun ownership; murderers often use guns to kill people; therefore, Joe is a killer.

Euphemisms: This is the use of a word or phrase that pretends to communicate but doesn’t. If often makes the bad seem good or the unpleasant seem attractive. For instance, “You aren’t poor, you are economically disadvantaged.”

Loaded Words: Related to name-calling, the propagandist will use extreme words to describe ordinary circumstances. For example, parents who protest at school board meetings are now labeled as “domestic terrorists” who commit “hate crimes”.

Scapegoat: This technique uses guilt-by-association to assign blame to an unrelated person, e.g., economic woes caused by the current administration are blamed on the previous administration; the ongoing pandemic is caused by the unvaccinated.

Logical Disconnect: The World Economic Forum states, “You will own nothing and be happy.” This says that happiness is the result of owning nothing but this is totally illogical from experience. A corollary to this might well be “Homeless people own nothing, therefore they must be happy.”

The science of persuasion

The above video is short and very informative and adds a little to the previous section on propaganda. Here is the summary:

  1. Reciprocity - obligation to give back.

  2. Scarcity - not enough.

  3. Authority - respect authority/experts.

  4. Consistency - first small, later big commitment.

  5. Liking - he/her is similar to “me”.

  6. Consensus - others are also doing it.

War, propaganda and dehumanizing

Intergroup Aggression - War (by Renäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt in "Human ethology")

The innate dispositions utilized during war include the following: (1) The tendency to be loyal to group members; (2) the readiness to react aggressively to threats directed against group members; (3) the motivation (especially in men) to fight and dominate; (4) the tendency to occupy territories and defend them; (5) the fear of strangers [i.e., responding to agonal signals of unfamiliar others. Small babies act according to the premise that strangers are potentially dangerous, an assumption evidently proved in the course of evolution]; (6) intolerance against those who deviate from group norms.

All these dispositions play a role in the conflict but not necessarily lead to war, which requires planning and leadership. Even within small groups the members must be stimulated to go out on a war party, usually under the influence of some spokesperson. Small groups, though, may be already incited to do so by some recent threatening event. If larger groups are to go to war, their readiness must be activated through propaganda, and it is often individuals spurred by ambition and striving for power who energize the group. Many modern states have been founded by such leadership.

Group aggression occurs in primates, who even invade territories of other groups. But only man is able to form alliances between different groups to fight a common enemy.

Planning and leadership are supplemented by indoctrination and the destructive use of weapons. The invention of rapidly killing weaponry permits eliminating opponents before they can emit signals inhibiting aggression. Signals inhibiting aggression are further blocked by depicting one's enemies as inferior beings or subhumans lacking human feelings. Members of technological civilizations, as well as of tribal societies, use this strategy. Thus the Eipo deride their enemies as dung flies, lizards or worms, or alluding to physical or psychic defeats as runty people or cowards (I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, W. Schiefenhovel, and V. Heeschen, in press).

Hand in hand with this dehumanization of the enemy is an elevation of one's own self-estimation, which can grow into an elitist and overestimation of personal ability. Hierarchical structures, furthermore, allow the individual to relieve himself of personal responsibility and become included in the group that shares and thus diffuses feelings of responsibility. (Concerning the power of obedience, see p. 310.)

The effects of dehumanization and diffusion of responsibility have been investigated in other recent studies (A. Bandura et al, 1975). Groups of three subjects were given the task of delivering electrical shocks to others who committed errors as part of an alleged learning experiment. Subjects who believed to be individually responsible for delivering shocks, delivered a shock with reduced intensity. But if they were told that a mean value would be determined from the actions of three persons delivering punishment as a group, then the subsequent diffusion of responsibility resulted in individual electrical shocks being of higher intensity. Dehumanizing commentary had an even stronger effect on the results. I f the test subjects heard negative remarks about their victim over an "accidentally activated" microphone, they subsequently delivered still stronger shocks, and conversely less powerful shocks when the victim was described as understanding and friendly. The aggressive disposition of test persons increased during the course of a session. The mean shock value increased less with feedback about its results. I f there was no feedback, shock strength escalated, but only for the group hearing dehumanizing information (Figs. 5.30-5.32).

Everyone's anti-war until the war propaganda starts (by Caitlin Johnstone)

Because selling the war to the public is a built-in component of all war strategy, the war will always look necessary from the mainstream perspective, and it won’t look like those other wars which we now know in retrospect were mistakes. It’s always designed to look appealing. There’s never not going to be atrocity propaganda. There’s never not going to be reasons fed to you selling this military intervention as special and completely necessary. That will be the case every single time, because that’s how modern wars are packaged and presented.

This is why you’ll always see a number of self-described leftists and anti-imperialists cheering for the latest US war project. They are ideologically opposed to the idea of war in theory, but the way it actually shows up in practice is always different from what they pictured.

Our entire civilization is shaped by domestic propaganda, but the only time you ever hear that word in mainstream discourse is when it’s used to discuss the comparatively almost nonexistent influence of Russian propaganda on our society. All the mainstream alarm ringing about Russian propaganda gives the impression that it comprises close to 100 percent of the total propaganda that westerners consume, when in reality it’s a tiny fraction of one percent of the total propaganda that westerners consume. Almost all of it comes from western sources.

Propaganda is the single most overlooked and underappreciated aspect of our society. It has far more influence over how the public thinks, acts and votes than any of our official mechanisms for doing so, yet it’s barely discussed, it isn’t taught in schools, and even the best political ideologies barely touch on it relative to their other areas of focus.

The information war in war

"WAR is a racket.

It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about.I t is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

- Major General Smedley Butler

C19: Propaganda & mind control

Covid is a global propaganda operation

Piers Robinson, co-director of the Organization for Propaganda Studies, is an internationally recognized expert on propaganda, but not just any propaganda.

His focus is on conflict and war and the role of propaganda within that framework. He is also an associate researcher with the Working Group on Propaganda and the 9/11 ‘War on Terror’ and has served as an advisor to NATO leaders. From 2016 to 2019, Professor Robinson chaired the department of politics, society and political journalism at the University of Sheffield.

He spoke at length about the propaganda aspects of Covid-19 in an Aug. 4 interview with Asia Pacific Today of Australia.

Mind control during C19

How to disarm propaganda

Today Mark Crispin Miller, NYU Professor and News From Underground publisher, joins us to discuss his specialty: propaganda. In true #SolutionsWatch style, we discuss ways to identify and dissect propaganda, as well as how to help others to see through common propaganda techniques.

The Subconscious Rule Structure of Compliance by Matt Hudson

A rule of thumb:

Solutions to mind control:

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