Illustration by Nebojsa Pejic
Who do you trust to provide truthful news? The New York Times, The National Enquirer, your favorite YouTube site, CNN, FOX News, or “none of the above”? Getting a handle on reality has become more challenging now that more possible realities are surfacing. It was so much easier when people relied on the Mockingbird system and its predecessors. Of course, that ease of decision-making sucked us into WWI and WWII, Vietnam, the “War on Terror” and many other negative realities. In five years, we may look back on the present era fondly, at least from the point of view of seeing the “truth”. At the moment, various truths are competing for our attention. One approach is to remain interested and attentive, but detached and skeptical. Filter reality and build your own “truth.” Here is a guest post about “truth” from one of my characters, Emma Neumann from my novel Saving Trump.
“The well-known story of All the President’s Men written by Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward chronicled the exploits of these two reporters during the early 1970s Watergate scandal. The book was a classic David and Goliath tale of the bulldog reporters using inside information, in this case from a mysterious source called ‘Deep Throat,’ to investigate and break the big story which would ultimately take down President Richard Nixon.
Let’s fast forward from 1972: Nixon was re-elected President of the United States; Vice-President Agnew resigned (1973); Gerald Ford became Vice-President (1973); Nixon resigned as President after the Watergate scandal (1974); Ford became President (1974); Nelson Rockefeller became Vice-President (1974). History books covering this era must be action-packed, exciting reads.
Then in 1975-76, the Church Committee investigated United States intelligence activities, and Operation Mockingbird was exposed. Begun in 1953, Mockingbird was a CIA program which used legitimate news sources to influence domestic public opinion. Brand-name reporters working for the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others were allegedly subject to control by their CIA Mockingbird masters. Other reporters, not working within the propaganda system, were wire-tapped to determine content. Basically, it was a continuing propaganda campaign running within, and capable of manipulating, the revered ‘Fourth Estate,’ the news media.
More recently we have the story of the leader of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, buying The Washington Post newspaper in 2013 for $250 million. Earlier in the same year, Bezos’ company Amazon received a $600 million contract to provide cloud services to the CIA. The Washington Post has been a constant source of negative information about President Trump, much of which has been obtained from anonymous sources.
Logically, one might assume that the truth once exposed would negate any propaganda efforts by the CIA or anyone else. Of course, Edward Bernays, the father of modern-day public relations or propaganda, said in his 1927 report entitled The Minority Rules that “the most effective propaganda, indeed, is that which enlarges and presents the truth so that an indifferent public will understand it and accept it.” Later in the same article, he says that if propaganda “strays into untruth, the course of events will show it up, and its power will end.”
But, what is the truth?
Some definitions state that a verified fact conforming to reality, and not false (untrue) is the truth.
And what is a lie?
A lie is an idea or statement that is untrue but which is presented as if it was true.
It could be said that all reported news may or may not be true depending on verification of the facts and the honesty of the reporter. Like the quantum physics question: is it a particle or a wave?, determining whether it is the truth or a lie depends on your filter and interpretation.
Hitler had a method of establishing the truth. The Nazi propaganda leaders said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, it will become the truth. This is the problem with public relations and propaganda. It is a process which establishes the truth and then sells it to the public. In effect, it is ‘fake news.’ Because news reporting is not only a fact-reporting machine, it is a fact-filter or lens. It diminishes or magnifies any event according to the bias of the source. Or in some cases, news is totally or partially fabricated.
Is the CIA still in the business of manipulating domestic and foreign public opinion? Are the Russians involved in manipulating domestic and foreign public opinion? Is President Trump doing the same? Are the Democrats and Republicans doing the same? The easy answer is, yes. Is all the news presented on television, and in newspapers, magazines, movies, podcasts, videos, websites and word-of-mouth the “truth”? Or is it some form of propaganda? The answer is that it is all propaganda. From instantaneous electronic reporting to time-delayed historical reporting, it is all the same. Let the reader beware.
In the very near future, it will be reported that the Russians co-opted Facebook, Google and other sites that offered advertisements along with their information and news. Most likely their intent was to disrupt the elections. Maybe they were just testing the concept to determine the best way to influence our elections. The Russians will be exposed for buying ads which promoted specific candidates and issues in the 2016 Presidential Election. Possibly Donald Trump was one of those promoted. If so, does that mean he colluded with the Russians? Or does it reflect on the transmitter of the news, Facebook or Google? Are they in some capitalistic, business-like way colluding with the Russians? Or is this all about free-speech for everyone including foreign intelligence operations?
Mockingbird news survives. It will never be killed by the truth because the truth is an imaginary bullet.”
If we could only fix history by chopping off the heads of statues, wouldn’t life be great? Chop off the stone heads of Wilson and the idiotic European leaders. We could stop World War 1 and save the lives of 19 million people. We could stop the racist President Woodrow Wilson from creating segregated government workplaces. Chop off the stone heads of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to avoid millions of deaths in Vietnam and Cambodia. Chop off Hitler’s stone head and stop the unapparelled violence of World War 2. Chop off the stone heads of Margaret Sanger, Rockefeller, and of course Adolph Hitler, all strong pushers of eugenics. We could chop off the stone heads of Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, slave owners all.
Once all the statues were beheaded, we could change the names of thousands of cities and buildings named after people having dubious histories. We could celebrate the elimination of all the horrible events of history once and for all by removing anything written reference in history books to anyone who did anything evil, despicable, or politically incorrect.
Off with their stone heads. However, we must never remove any of the evil living power hungry politicians running our national, state and local governments. Real change requires recognition and prosecution of real-time crimes, not just toppling statues of long-dead historical figures, but real change is impossible because the criminals run the system.
(image caption: wikipedia commons)
In the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt recognized that farmers were going broke because the cost to produce their farm products exceeded the prices paid by the consumer. One of his solutions enacted was to reduce the supply of farm product, and the intended result would be higher farm prices.
In September 1933 six million piglets were killed on orders of the government of the United States. Some of the meat was fed to hungry poor people. Some of it became fertilizer. According to Henry A. Wallace, then Secretary of Agriculture, this pig killing program successfully raised the price of pork helping the pig farmers and everyone in America by providing a balanced supply of pork to the market. He called it “Agricultural Adjustment.”
FDR’s New Deal programs were established to give the government more control over markets. Killing piglets was a market control device followed by many other government programs, some successful, others not.
In periods of a paradigm shift, like the Great Depression, people and their governments do strange things. We are in such a period of paradigm shift now, and as a result, strangeness abounds. In the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt was in charge. He was praised and attacked for his activities. Today, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. His efforts to deal with the unknown are subject to the same kind of attacks as those experienced by FDR, but unlike FDR he is unable to manipulate and cajole the news media. Today, instead of hearing the squeal of slaughtered piglets, we are witnessing the anguished cries of propagandist news critics skewered by Donald Trump. Strange change marches on.
History is a rearview mirror which should bear the inscription “Caution: The world may appear different than it is.” In fact, history is just another propaganda tool of the Controllers. The history of the world is a distilled, fabricated, massaged and distorted presentation of facts, lies, and opinions. It may take the form of a high school or college text, a television series, or of a written, spoken or video news analysis. The official history is sold every minute of every day to the sleepy-eyed, over-worked populace.
“Black and white” presentations of the “facts” surrounding wars, assassinations, economic depressions, plagues, natural disasters, governments, religions, leaders, and losers tell simple stories. The bad guys are identified and hung out to dry; the good guys canonized. An event happened, a reaction followed, etc.
But you might want to test the development of the official history. Try this little exercise. Take stock of the last decade or two. Remember the historical events as they happened. Double check and supplement your memory with newspapers, videos, and other immediate contemporary accounts of events as they happened. Skip the news analysis articles that fill news magazines like Time. These articles are the first stage of the history packaging process. Imagine sheep herded into pens by dogs. That is their purpose. The Controllers want to lead you down the official path of “truth.”
You might also want to follow the propaganda process from news bulletins to headlines, to articles, to weekly summations, to annual reviews, to cinematic dramatizations, to Ken Burns-type television presentations, to fiction and non-fictional books by well-known authors and finally to the very boring and dogmatic writings presented in official history texts.
Pick a historical event which seems important to you, one that should appear in a history book, like 911, the Iraq invasion, or the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Then grab a history text used to teach high school students today.
Make an analysis of the summation and causation of events that happened in your lifetime. See if you agree with history’s version. Can you see the filtering, editorializing, and the congealing of facts to fit the official story? My time travel books are all written from this viewpoint. This little exercise may make you doubt the historical fairy tales describing all those other historical events which happened before you were born.
From Zak Newman's June 28, 2028 log in the time travel novel Saving JFK.
“Dr. Currant spent the first hour explaining the some of the basics of life in the early 1960s. He has purchased quite a few rare gold and silver coins as well as about ten pounds of common gold coins dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Since he is a registered numismatist, he is allowed to make such a transaction without causing a fuss with MOM. These, he will exchange for dollars once we arrive. We’re familiar with the idea of dollars. They’re similar in concept to the exos that we use today, except they are paper, not electronic. But understanding the smaller coins is a challenge. The pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars are what Dr. Currant calls “pocket change.” For my money, carrying these coins around will only create holes in my pocket. I actually like our decimal system of today, although very few transactions involve transferring a part of an exo. A single exo doesn’t buy much and part of an exo buys even less. But A.C. assures us that these nickels and dimes will, in themselves, have some pretty hefty purchasing power in 1963. He’s also bringing some cut diamonds. These, of course, are synthetic. Today, diamonds are just another commodity, like wheat or oil, because of the low cost of creating them. According to Dr. Currant, experts today can’t tell the difference between the real and the synthetic. The synthetic stones are cheap now, but in 1963 diamonds were very valuable and only available in their natural state. They’re small, easy-to-carry, concentrated wealth and they’ll be no problem to sell to the right buyer, says Dr. Currant.”