THE PAYPAL MAFIA THAT ELON MUSK CONSPIRES WITH IN VIOLATION OF RICO LAWS

Plaintiff, and Plaintiff’s witnesss, did swear, warrant and certify that The White House, The United States Depatment Of Energy and members of Congress engaged in a pre-planned criminal conspiracy along with the owners of Google, Tesla and other Silicon Valley companies who were their political campaign financiers and exclusive government beneficiaries.

Recent Court divorce records, major news investigation reports and FINCEN records track the monies and prove these assertions. It has been proven in hundreds of federal records that the families of Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris owned these companies covertly and arranged for exclusive government cash and resources for them, while sabotaging their competitors. Plaintiff was one of their main competitors.

It is well known that Plaintiff dislikes racketeers, mobsters and politically corrupt politicians and provides information about such persons to the FBI and Congress.

Whistle-blowers from famous/notorious dynastic political families have approached Plaintiff to provide information on their family members shenanigans. Family members from famous/notorious dynastic political families have approached Plaintiff to date him or solicit involvement in their schemes. News reporters who have an interest in famous/notorious dynastic political families have approached Plaintiff to provide inside information about very specific famous/notorious dynastic political families. Plaintiff’s past, winning, federal anti-corruption lawsuit was managed by White House lawyers who also had inside knowledge of famous/notorious dynastic political families and their shenanigans. Thus Plaintiff, and his associates, have received voluminous data on famous/notorious dynastic political families and their crimes, corruptions, attacks and illicit deeds, all of which has now been filed with law enforcement entities.

In the course of these matters, it has been determined that 3 very simple deposition questions asked to each of the United States Government officials from The White House, Congress and the United States Department of Energy can lead to clarity in this matter.

The Court must depose each listed U.S. Senator, White House Senior Official and Department of Energy official and ask them these questions, on-the-record:

The federal deposition questions are easy enough and require simple “yes” or “no” answers:

1. “Under penalty of imprisonment if you lie: will the FBI, The SEC, FINCEN and Interpol be able to confirm that you, or your family members never owned any stock in Tesla, Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube or any publishing company?”

2. “Under penalty of imprisonment if you lie: will the FBI, The SEC, FINCEN and Interpol be able to confirm that you, or your family members never took any action to cause government actions which would financially or politically benefit Tesla, Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube or any publishing company?”

3. “Under penalty of imprisonment if you lie: will the FBI, The SEC, the FEC, FINCEN and Interpol be able to confirm that you, or your family members never took any action to finance or support political campaigns in coordination with Tesla, Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube or any publishing company?”

We look forward to certain major United States Government political figures and VC’s being asked those questions in live, televised, Congressional hearings and public jury trials.

Corrupt political families conspired to give government funds, contracts, tax waivers, buildings, stock market profits and other insider perks to themselves and their friends. They also conspired to blockade, harm, sabotage and black-list Plaintiff for competing with them and their friends. These corrupt politicians are never prosecuted for their crimes, and can laugh in the face of those who point out their crimes, because they control the prosecution system. Their Quid Pro Quo criminal corruption is the single largest cause of the taxpayer hatred of Congress.

In a lawsuit overseen by a Supreme Court Justice: The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson, Plaintiffs won and proved that corruption exists in many government offices in a history-making federal court case in Washington, DC.

It is time to bring these corrupt United States Government employees and contractors to justice and make them pay Plaintiff for their crimes.

For example, in the following report we learn that A.) Elon Musk was on the verge of bankruptcy, which legally disqualified him from receiving the United States Department of Energy funds, B.) Musk had the worst debt ratio of any applicant, which also legally disqualified him from receiving the United States Department of Energy funds, C.) that the White House and United States Department of Energy were fully aware that Musk was a non-viable entity, D.) That Google, The White House and the United States Department of Energy conspired with Musk to manipulate 1.) funds and 2.) financial records and 3.) global news media coverage in order to: AA:) Manipulate Tesla into the appearance of success by hiding defect, crash and explosion news about Tesla in global news media, BB:) Manipulate Obama into wnning the White House by cntrolling all global digital news coverage in order to hide negative news about Obama and promote contrived news about Obama (referred to by many as “ELECTION MANIPULATION”), CC:) Hide competitor news.

In one example of these revelations we see that Google, who staffed the Obama and Biden White House’s with the largest single-company provided ex-staff members IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA, was also covertly pumping Musk stock and helping to falsify Tesla net worth.:

THE SHAME OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Elon Musk ‘had affair with Google founder Sergey Brin’s WIFE in December which led to their divorce and end of tech billionaires’ friendship’ – after Sergey’s and Larry Page’s secret millions helped Tesla fake Dept of Energy viability to get taxpayer cash exclusive handout

  • Sergey Brin filed for divorce from his wife Nicole Shanahan in January citing irreconcilable differences

  • White House and Department of Energy, Google and Musk formed ‘criminal conspiracy’ to get monopolistic government cash and tax waivers

  • Now, friends of the pair tell The Wall Street Journal that Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk in December 2021

  • In the same month, Musk welcomed a baby girl via surrogate with his ex-girlfriend Grimes 

  • It was a month after he had twins with a former executive, and three months before he started dating current girlfriend Natasha Bassett 

  • Sergey and his wife were separated but still living together when she had her affair with the Tesla CEO 

  • Brin and Shanahan were married for four years and welcomed a daughter in 2018 

  • He is the world’s 7th richest man, worth of $93billion, while Musk, worth $253.4bn, is the richest

By Jennifer Smith, Chief Reporter 

Elon Musk had an affair with Google founder Sergey Brin’s wife in December last year, which was the catalyst for their divorce, it has been claimed. 

Friends of the pair told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that Musk’s romance with Nicole Shanahan was what prompted the Google billionaire to file for divorce in January. 

It’s unclear how long the romance lasted but it occurred in the same month that Musk welcomed a baby girl via a surrogate with his ex-girlfriend Grimes, and was a month after he secretly welcomed twins with a former executive from one of his companies. 

He started dating current girlfriend Natasha Bassett in February. 

Brin, the seventh richest man in the world worth an estimated $93billion, filed for divorce in January, signaling the beginning of one of the most expensive splits in Silicon Valley history. 

Sergey Brin filed for divorce in January , a month after his wife Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk. In January, Brin filed for divorce citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ from his wife. He asked for the docket to be sealed 

The reason for the divorce, at the time, was not clear. 

He cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in divorce papers but asked for the docket to be sealed to protect his young daughter. 

The affair brought an abrupt end to Elon and Sergey’s years-long friendship; in 2008, Sergey gave $500,000 in funding to Tesla at the height of the financial crisis. 

Elon has also spoken fondly of crashing at Sergey’s homes. Brin and Shanahan, 37, share a daughter, who was born in 2018. 

The Google founder has asked to share custody of her as part of the divorce arrangements, which they are fighting to keep private out of fear that their daughter will be put at risk of ‘harassment’ or ‘kidnapping’. 

Musk has not commented on the allegations.

Google and Tesla Motors are partners in actual crimes

– Tesla’s Crony Government Subsidies Are The Biggest Taxpayer Rape In History

– The Silicon Valley Mafia Soy Boys believe that driving a Tesla will offset their sexual inadequacies and that allowing Tesla to fail will hurt their political message points

– Anti-Tesla activists have tricked the Silicon Valley Mafia into dumping (and wasting) billions of dollars of their VC funds into Tesla stock to pump the NASDAQ valuation listings

– Scientific web data records now prove that Google hid all negative news about Musk and Tesla

Verifiable Facts Now Disclose an Epic Crime In Washington, DC!

Here are the facts, proven in news, law enforcement and public investigations:

** Thousands of articles discuss the possibility that Silicon Valley billionaires may be sociopaths, or otherwise deeply disturbed men who believe they are above the law. These kinds of people have been proven, in many past cases, to resort to extreme and criminal behavior without a second thought.

** Google and Tesla are run by Silicon Valley billionaires.

** Proven by web archives and metrics, the only company in the world that has had all of it’s negative articles hidden by Google is Tesla.

** Proven by web archives and metrics, the only company in the world to own a majority, and covert, interest in Tesla is Google, via it’s staff and owners.

** Internet records prove that the only company in the world to have it’s press releases moved to P8 authority status by Google, even though concurrent negative coverage had a higher volume in every other search engine, and even though they were just Musk’s press releases, is Tesla.

** Both Google and Tesla investors spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying for the invasion of Afghanistan and promoted white papers lauding “Trillions of dollars of lithium in Afghanistan” and “Afghanistan is the Saudi Arabia of Lithium”.

** More than any other companies on Earth, Google and Tesla are staged to make the most profits from mining deals in Afghanistan, particularly the mining of lithium, indium and related metals.

** Frank Guistra, Jacques Littlefield and a number of Russian oligarchs are all involved in big Middle East mining and funding Obama’s Campaign and Hillary’s campaign and got perks from the same in Government deals and were closely associated with Tesla and Google.

** Goldman Sachs is partners with Tesla and Google and made billions by skimming the very deals that crashed in the Steven Chu DOE give-away plus the Tesla and Google stock manipulations.

** Goldman Sachs has been charged with profiteering in the invasion of Afghanistan.

** Goldman Sachs has been charged with criminal-class commodities market manipulation of the very metals, being mined in Afghanistan, that Google and Tesla, Sachs partners, also profit from.

** Google’s money guys and Tesla’s money guys are either the SAME guys and/or all have financial relationships

** Google, Tesla and Goldman Sachs, using back-door, illicit cash transfer routes were the largest financiers of the Obama campaign.

** None of Elon Musk’s companies would be in business without White House intervention and tens of billions of dollars of government handouts.

** In the HSBC “Swiss Leaks” Google, Tesla and White House staff were discovered to have had “slush funds”.

** The head of the Department of Energy, and his staff, were promoted for nomination by the investors of Google and Tesla, who he had a personal and financial beneficiary relationship with.

** Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, has spent more time in the White House dictating national policy and federal hiring decisions (for his own benefit) than all of Congress combined. Schmidt even ordered his staff, and business partners, to be placed in charge of the FCC and U.S. Patent Office.

** Attorney General Eric Holder was promoted for nomination by the investors of Google and Tesla, who he had a personal and financial beneficiary relationship with.

** The financiers of Tesla and Google use “Flash-Boy” algorithm stock market software manipulation services.

** After Steven Chu was thrown out of the Department of Energy for running a kick-back scheme to the very same people, a duplicate scheme was moved to the Department of Transportation to relay cash for “Driver-less Cars” with the core beneficiaries, again, being Google, Tesla and their owners.

** The Afghan failures have cost the U.S. Taxpayers over six trillion dollars and the publication: Pro-Publica, has disclosed a hot bed of corruption deals associated with Afghan kick-backs, that continue to escalate.

** Tesla and Google “driver-less car projects” have been exposed as simply another scam to try to exploit the already failing lithium mining market and deals, because those particular cars use vast amounts of lithium, the mining deals for which are owned by Google and Tesla owners.

** From 2007 to today, Google Internet records prove that Google manipulated election information and public perceptions in order to seek to swing the election to the Obama campaign.

** Thousands of other provable financial, covert stock ownership, family trust fund and shell company disclosures prove that the suspects had a covert, organized, illicit political and business program underway, that they concertedly crafted.

Therefor…

Tesla and Google owners must have funded the Obama election campaign in exchange for the promise of vast monopolies in Afghan mining deals to be exploited in their electric car and Solyndra-type holdings. It is true and verifiable that these three companies funded the campaign and only they got those benefits and all of their competitors were targeted and damaged by the Obama Administration, which has ordered federal investigators not to investigate the matter. This seems to confirm that a trillion dollar kick-back scam was operated by senior White House staff and is the subject of a White House-ordered cover-up.

Elon Musk and Google are some of the biggest contributors of political cash and services to Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein.

Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein have personally signed off on, and lobbied to give billionaires Elon Musk and Google hundreds of billions of dollars of nearly tax free taxpayer cash for no apparent reason aside from their political connections.

Elon Musk and Google have provided Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein with billions of dollars of un-reported political campaign financing in the form of search engine rigging, stock valuation pumps for stocks held by the associates Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein and for other in-kind services which have a quantifiable cash value that has never been reported to regulatory authorities.

Elon Musk and Google use off-shore tax evasion tactics and methods advised and managed by the same financial advisors.

Business partners, family members and political associates of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein hold stock in Elon Musk’s and Google’s companies.

Elon Musk is quoted as saying that he was arranging to have Google buy Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors.

Google is quoted as saying that they plan to exclusively use Elon Musk’s Space X rockets to launch a shroud of public surveillance satellites around the Earth.

Both Elon Musk and Google are counting on taxpayer funds created by Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein through the U.S. Department of Transportation for their “driver-less car projects” which they both happened to have come up with at the same time that the DOT funds were slotted out for them.

Elon Musk’s and Google have both exchanged cash and employees with a company called IN-Q-TEL. IN-Q-TEL sells tricky spy services to the CIA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Columbian drug lords (In-Q-Tel’s airplanes were caught with 5 tons of cocaine on-board and Elon Musk’s software programmer created and operated SILK ROAD, the world’s largest illegal drug network), the DNC, Hillary Clinton’s Department of State and other interesting groups. Elon Musk’s staff and Google’s owners have both publicly applauded IN-Q-TEL’s tactics in funding Google and Elon Musk’s companies. IN-Q-TEL and it’s sister company: New America Foundation both have Elon Musk’s and Google’s staff on their management teams.

In the entire history of Google, only Elon Musk and Barack Obama have had the documented search engine hype-rigging, manual up-ranking and mood manipulation results as the most synthetically highly manipulated results in all global Google search and positioning presentations. In normal language, this means that Google faked the results for both of these names, in order to operate a contrived PR campaign, while, at the same time, attacking and defaming their competitors.

Elon Musk’s and Google’s people co-own the stocks of each others companies.

Both Elon Musk and Google have a number of mysterious deaths associated with themselves including the deaths of Rajeev Motwani, Forrest Hayes, Gary D. Conley, David Bird, Karl Slym, Andrew Ingram, Brian M. Finn, Kenneth Bellando, Sarvshreshth Gupta, Kate Matrosova and many more. In each case, the dead person is thought to have had incriminating information on Elon Musk and/or Google.

More people from Google and Elon Musk’s holdings got jobs in the White House and at top federal agencies than any other entities in the world.

Elon Musk and Google both have a financial and political need to control profiteering of the war-torn Afghanistan lithium and indium mining conglomerates. Both have deep connections with Russian mobsters who own the mining equipment in those regions. Both contributed technology and funding to implement “Arab Spring” and other political uprisings which would give them more control of those raw materials and both were the biggest recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy Cleantech Cash which was handed out by their friends: Steven Chu, Matt Rogers. Steven Spinner, Allison Spinner who Elon Musk and Google personally lobbied to have appointed to run the U.S. Department of Energy. John Doerr and Kleiner Perkins were the lead investors in all of the suspects. This makes it appear that a trillion dollar payola scam was organized by Elon Musk and Google.

If a major payola scam, using taxpayer dollars, was organized by Elon Musk and Google the very law enforcement agencies who should have arrested them happen to have been controlled by the decisions of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein. Eric Holder, the attorney general, who ran the Department of Justice, in the Obama Administration, had stock relationships with Elon Musk’s and Google’s companies. Both Eric Holder and Steven Chu, who handed out the Department of Energy cash to them, were handled by the law firm of Covington and Burling who also work with the key business partners of Elon Musk and Google.

When federal investigators wrote Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors a demand for a detailed safety investigation of Tesla Motors, Google’s lobbyists assisted in getting the investigation terminated and Tesla still has not engaged in a complete independent public safety inspection.

Within minutes of negative news story’s appearing about Elon Musk or Google companies, Google always manually hides the negative news story and replaces it with a “fluff story”

about Elon Musk or Google. At the same time, key investors from both groups engage in either/or stock buy-backs and stock-pumps to artificially increase the appearance of stock valuation surges so as to seduce day traders and institutional investors that they should invest. This is fraud and constitutes the use of taxpayer funded companies to defraud taxpayers. The methods of the company called “PollyHop” in the current series of House of Cards, describes the methods used by Musk and Google.

There are quite a number of other common connections between these groups. While all of these similarities may simply be the most extraordinary set of coincidences in history, to the skilled law enforcement investigators who are pursuing this case, the matter calls for more action and less delay.

What Are the Implications Of Google Controlling The U.S. Government?

Opinion by Hiram Walker

– On the illicit insider take-over of the U.S. Administration by sex-crazed, stop-at-nothing Silicon Valley billionaires

Recent research by The Intercept, ( The Android Administration : https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/ ) China, The EU and most any voter that reads the news, shows that Google’s owners have impregnated the U.S. Government with their people at every level and in every choke-point of the federal decision-making process.

Google has most profoundly taken control of the White House with the largest majority of West Wing staff being Google-connected; most of the White House decisions benefiting Google and harming Google’s adversaries; and a shocking number of private White House meetings and revolving door job give-aways. If this was not a classic government take-over Coup that Eric Schmidt and Larry Page had strategically planned out, then it is the biggest coincidence in human history.

This is like a South American-class over-throw of a government except it used internet servers instead of bazooka’s.

Many people hear these charges and cry:oh, it is just the Republicans picking on the Democrats again”.. and pass it off as another standard example of party politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Google is not a Democratic thing. Google is a crazy, warped, billionaire thing. Google does what it does for a very specific goal of power and cash that has very little to do with liberals.

Imagine if you discovered that Satanists had covertly taken over the Catholic Church! This is pretty much the same thing.

Google’s bosses have been involved in a huge number of sex scandals, tax evasion schemes, corporate cheating investigations, privacy abuse and have made some of the most outlandish comments you ever heard from a crazy billionaire. How are these nut-jobs qualified to run the federal government? Google has steered a trillion dollars of taxpayer cash from the U.S. Treasury to it’s bank accounts and not to any taxpayers. Is that the way it is supposed to work?

NO!

To save America, the FBI, or the FTC, should hunt down all of the hundreds of Google insiders and pluck them out of State and Federal administrations.

Google under scrutiny over lobbying influence on …

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It also said Google funds about 140 trade associations and other … Google’s reach extends beyond Capitol Hill to the White House itself.

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http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201[…]18/google-political-donations-congress

Google Makes Most of Close Ties to White House – WSJ

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Google Makes Most of Close Ties to White House Search giant averages a White House meeting a week during Obama administration

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-mak[…]f-close-ties-to-white-house-1427242076

Google hires a White House aide to handle its policy battles

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The trend of White House veterans leaving for tech giants (such as Press … both a journalist and an official at the International Monetary Fund.

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http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/13/goo[…]gle-hires-white-house-aide-for-policy/

The revolving door between Google and the White House continues …

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Notable swaps between Google and the White House in the past … for the US Treasury and International Monetary Fund, and was formerly as …

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http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/14/1076[…]hite-house-personnel-caroline-atkinson

Google hires White House economist Atkinson as policy chief

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Google hires White House economist Atkinson as policy chief … a former International Monetary Fund official who has dual United Kingdom …

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/new[…]n-global-public-policy-chief/78699144/

Google Taps Former White House Economist as Head of … – Re/code

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Google hired former White House economic affairs adviser Caroline … a senior executive with the International Monetary Fund and, prior to that …

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http://recode.net/2016/01/12/google-ta[…]se-economist-as-head-of-global-policy/

Google Taps White House Aide to Head Public Policy – Digits – WSJ

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Google Taps White House Aide to Head Public Policy … speaking to reporters as the International Monetary Fund’s External Relations Director.

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http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2016/01/12[…]hite-house-aide-to-head-public-policy/

Government subsidies helped Elon Musk attain $13.3 …

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Elon Musk has not denied that his companies received substantial government subsidies, which have been estimated at nearly $5 billion in public assistance.

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http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/06/07/g[…]t-subsidies-helped-elon-musk/id=58427/

Elon Musk trashes story that argues Tesla relies on government …

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If there’s a single, major criticism of Elon Musk, it’s that he’s running … Elon Musk trashes story that argues Tesla relies on government handouts.

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http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-mu[…]t-depending-on-government-money-2015-6

Elon Musk is an obvious fraud | DSSK

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all of you have more information than i, but even i know that Elon Musk is not BY FAR not the only company owner that the US government shovels billions in contracts …

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http://www.dssk.press/elon-musk-is-an-obvious-fraud/

Why does Tesla need billions in government handouts? – The Globe …

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Elon Musk is billed as the new Steve Jobs. His all-electric Tesla cars are iPhones on wheels. The technology is not exactly new—Musk did not …

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-[…]n-government-handouts/article21777601/

Elon Musk fiercely defends $4.9 billion in government … – Mashable

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Be careful how you talk about government handouts provided to Elon Musk’s companies or you might just make him angry. And you wouldn’t …

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http://mashable.com/2015/06/02/elon-musk-government-incentives/

Readers react to Elon Musk’s $4.9 billion in government subsidies …

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Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government … It takes a really narrow view of the future to look at this as a handout and …

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http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/[…]subsidies-comments-20150601-story.html

Inside Elon Musk’s $1.4 billion score – Fortune

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Along the way Musk encountered a few surprises, not least that a key figure in this saga is the owner of the legal brothel known as the Mustang Ranch (this is Nevada …

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http://fortune.com/inside-elon-musks-billion-dollar-gigafactory/

Elon Musk Scores Again – WSJ

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-scores-again-1411944767 ….. So Elon gets yet another government handout for a company that doesn’t …

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-scores-again-1411944767

Tesla’s Profitability Hasn’t Stopped the Government Handouts – US …

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Tesla’s Government Handouts Are the Gift That Keeps On Giving … its stocks soaring, making its billionaire CEO Elon Musk even richer than he …

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http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/ec[…]-hasnt-stopped-the-government-handouts

Elon Musk: “Successful” Only Because of Government Business and …

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Elon Musk became a billionaire because he was one of the founders of … is whether any government should make such corporate handouts.

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http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capol[…]-of-government-business-and-subsidies/

Is Elon Musk Just A Billionaire Welfare King? | OilPrice.com

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Elon Musk has come under fire recently for the large amount of subsidies his … Tesla isn’t Elon Musk’s only source of government largesse. …. creators”.the percent of “job creators”gettin handouts is roughly100%.big gov is …

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http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene[…]k-Just-A-Billionaire-Welfare-King.ht

The stealthy, Eric Schmidt-backed startup that’s working to put …

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An under-the-radar startup funded by billionaire Eric Schmidt has become a … executive chairman of Google parent-company Alphabet—to ensure that Clinton … startup that’s working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House …

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http://qz.com/520652/groundwork-eric-s[…]-working-for-hillary-clinton-campaign/

Google’s latest VR video is a trip through the White House during …

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Google’s latest VR video is a trip through the White House during … Startup Wants To Turn Your $5K Into $2.5 BillionBusiness Insider | Fundrise.

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http://thenextweb.com/google/2015/12/1[…]ough-the-white-house-during-christmas/

Google hires former White House adviser for its policy team …

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Before her role at the White House, Atkinson worked as a journalist. She has also served as an official with the International Monetary Fund.

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http://www.slashgear.com/google-hires-[…]-adviser-for-its-policy-team-13423096/

rhythmbandit, San Francisco, United States, moments ago

No moral or ethical authority to lead, if that matters anymore.

PUBLIC COMMENTS POSTED ON THE INTERNET:

Fi Dixon, Austin, United States, moments ago

Gross

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Commenter, Anywhere, moments ago

Musk is out of control

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sparkrep99, Dallas, United States, moments ago

Legend…. But damn… even being some of the richest men in the world, you are still recycling the same women? You really can’t find someone else?

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nycexpat, The Middle, United States, moments ago

Always get a prenup and if this is the situation put the cheater out like a stray cat.

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Adeloncè, Everywhere, United States, moments ago

It’s the game of money money money!

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ZenStoned, San Francisco, United States, moments ago

What’s hotter than a millionaire? a billionaire

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cindyloohoo, denver, United States, moments ago

Who would touch that? Hes so unappealing

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ZenStoned, San Francisco, United States, moments ago

I need sunglasses to see Musk’s bare chest picture

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Lollorossa, Vienna, Austria, moments ago

Oh my, hes a busy boy!

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Charles Johnston, Glasgow, United Kingdom, moments ago

None of my business.

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Fat Tuesday, Fantasy Land, United States, moments ago

Scandalous people.

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Olschool, San Antonio, United States, moments ago

I like the flattering photo they put of Elon to tweak your thoughts a little bit more.

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Beantown02178, Houston, United States, moments ago

Technically if they were separated it wasn’t an affair but what kind of friend is he? I get the impression he goes after whet he wants regardless of the consequences, in this case hurting a friend, and she must be a piece of work knowing they were friends and still getting involved with him. And… let’s not even get into the back-to-back kids! YUCK!

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WalterWhit3, Los pollos, United States, moments ago

Musk dares to step outside the liberal orthodoxy and the salacious stories come out of the woodwork. Not a coincidence

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AL_STAR, Silicon Valley CA, United States, moments ago

Sounds to be like he’s a billionaire sleezball

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The Don, Deal, United Kingdom, moments ago

Looking at that photo I can’t see why she was attracted to this multi billionaire.

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Key maker, US, United States, 5 minutes ago

Elon aint no joke. He doesnt play around. Shes probably a few months pregnant already.

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tombower, avon, United States, 6 minutes ago

media now going after Musk. They were already separated so not an affair. Elon must be making them nervous!

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basbarn, Truro, United Kingdom, 6 minutes ago

So he had a relationship with a woman that was separated from her husband but still living together in December and then began a relationship with his current girlfriend in February after ending the other relationship. And the story here is what.

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The Gruffalo, Ballykissangel, United Kingdom, 7 minutes ago

Elon is a bit of a blade apparently.

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AF1977, Johannesburg , South Africa, 8 minutes ago

Elon seems to be living his best life. Lol.

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DeeWood , Boston, United States, 8 minutes ago

Yuck

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Bendtheknee, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 9 minutes ago

TBH I wouldn’t have said no… but what chance would I have on my wages

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Karen, Lost in Space, 9 minutes ago

Shouldnt that be, my wife sleep with Elon? It takes two!

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MonkeySays, London, United Kingdom, 9 minutes ago

No one would look at him twice if he wasn’t a billionaire

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think for yourself, Cedar City Utah, United States, 9 minutes ago

How does this assburger find time to work…

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JRaso, Oakville, Canada, 9 minutes ago

For a guy with his coin, he sure isn’t picky.

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blade443, Philadelphia, United States, 10 minutes ago

Wow Elon has zero moral scruples. If it moves hit it

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MagThatcher, Bucks, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

Messy

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Sootythecat, Barnsley, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

Elon must have a 250 billion length of something cause his looks aren’t doing it

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tarbuck, Swansea, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

He’s vile

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Claire at Home Law, San Francisco, United States, 10 minutes ago

What on Earth is the obsession with Elon’s love life?!

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Paperbackwriter70, Manchester, United Kingdom, 6 minutes ago

Just shows people go blind when moneys involved!

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Bonnie Mincey, New York, United States, moments ago

In truth, this is where their heads are planted and the reason the country is in a mess. They wallow in the mud.

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Adeloncè, Everywhere, United States, 10 minutes ago

It’s the game money plays!

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Chic_Farmer, Venus, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

Jeez, he gets about. I wonder what it is that attracts them

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AnotherFloridaMan, Miami, United States, 11 minutes ago

I’m starting to get less envious. He’s really a scarred little boy.

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Kbuay, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, 11 minutes ago

Musk is very much self destructive.

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Tree lark, Uk, United Kingdom, 11 minutes ago

Just shows money can buy you many things but class isn’t one of them….

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Kent Le, Cypress, United States, 11 minutes ago

Second divorce for Brin. It’s cheaper to stay single and date models.

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Michigan on England, Michagain, United States, 12 minutes ago

This cat “owns” everything lol

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ROY, DERBY, United Kingdom, 12 minutes ago

Musk isn’t at all good looking so what can possibly be attracting all these women to him?

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McCfreckles, Redditch, United Kingdom, 12 minutes ago

All adults. Their business.

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Catherine, New York, 13 minutes ago

OMG I had no idea about Elon’s dad. How absolutely disgusting.

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etc etc, somewhere, United States, 13 minutes ago

Ugh, with friends like Elon, who needs enemies?

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Crzysassycool, Simple City, United States, 13 minutes ago

The rights hero, of course. If the person is immoral and disgusting as this clown, they love him. Just as long as he’s rich.

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SlainteMhath, Columbia, United States, 13 minutes ago

Why WIFE? Anyway better prospects.

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Archimedes Polonium, Holby, United Kingdom, 13 minutes ago

As Neil Young once sang, Saddle up the palomino, the sun is going down…

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PinkyandTulips, LostAngeles, United States, 14 minutes ago

Elon’s sophisticated tech billionaire facade is totally gone now. He’s a really messed up guy.

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silpleton, honolulu, United States, 14 minutes ago

So where the big deal. There are more people having affairs in America than the entire population. Good luck to him.

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Zak Reno, New York, United States, 14 minutes ago

Exactly the type of lowlife Republicans worship!

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Wobby1, East Narnia, United Kingdom, 15 minutes ago

Where does he get the time? I don’t get time to put the rubbish out and pop to B and Q after work!!!

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scientific-inquirer, San Jose, United States, 15 minutes ago

We cannot have marriage used as a financial career like this.

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Pretty Petals , Kent, United Kingdom, 15 minutes ago

I thought Elon is a very clever guy with his business mind. But when it comes to his personal life, he honestly baffles me. That’s when I have no respect for him. I don’t understand why he doesn’t stick to one girl.

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Ann W27, London, United Kingdom, 15 minutes ago

He certainly does put it about.

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CommentSubmitted, Tucson, United States, 15 minutes ago

The woman and man were separated at the time of the “affair.” I simply do not consider that to be an “affair.” She and her husband were separated.

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LLRB2808, Fort Worth, United States, 16 minutes ago

Musk is so gross.

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simiyalala, New York, 16 minutes ago

Elon is wild

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BidenFanBoy, Upper West side NYC, United States, 17 minutes ago

Good for Elon. Showinthat Russian who’s boss.

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Davey Rogers, The Great Northwest USA, United States, 17 minutes ago

Separated but still living together? So fair game I guess.

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LeoNoble, Essex, United Kingdom, 17 minutes ago

Basically, Boris Johnson, but with money!

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Kato2, Boston, United States, 17 minutes ago

How does he have the time?

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AnotherPerson, London, United Kingdom, 17 minutes ago

Silicon Valley is like a highschool soap. What data do these companies have on us again… oh, everything.

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tenzie, Montreal, 17 minutes ago

She was captivated by his bod.

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space_junkers, Dallas, United States, 17 minutes ago

Space pollution and lithium mining.

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grumpyoldlady, Maryland, 17 minutes ago

She was already separated— so they had already called it quits. Who cares. Any woman dating Elon at this point should realize he’s not there for the long haul.

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Desy883, Brum, Norway, 18 minutes ago

So she has slept with 2 top 10 richest men in the world.

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Dirty Laundry, Laundromat, United States, 18 minutes ago

They really are going after Musk.

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Leigh, Alexandria VA, 19 minutes ago

Elon sounds more and more disgusting every day. He just can’t stop spreading it around.

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Jon Drew, Bethlehem, United States, 19 minutes ago

Wow its crazy how much the papers want us to hate him. Almost coincidental?

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bmorris, Kansas City, United States, 19 minutes ago

Elon is old creep.

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R.Merrimen, Bolton, United Kingdom, 19 minutes ago

Musk definitely ain’t no Pablo Schreiber now is he ~ none of Pablo’s gorgeous features at all! Must have been a money thing for sure.

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Jsmith111, London, United Kingdom, 20 minutes ago

Is Musk Casper the ghost

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Pierre Van Morgan, Gloucester, United Kingdom, 21 minutes ago

Bit misleading! They were separated so is it an affair?

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Pudsta, Leeds, United Kingdom, 21 minutes ago

Wonder what women see in him lol

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LuckyD2020, United States, United States, 22 minutes ago

So what you’re saying is looks aren’t important to her.

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Zee Chen, San Francisco, United States, 22 minutes ago

Wow she is quite rich on her own too. Different world for the rich.

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they do make it up, nuneaton england, 22 minutes ago

Musk, is that a new aftershave that attracts women

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enoko, nj, United States, 22 minutes ago

Damn he is worse than nick cannon

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jenny ess, Midwest, United States, 22 minutes ago

Proof that gobs of money and success in business have nothing to do with having class, morals, or ethics. Sadly, he is likely seeking some comfort that he will never find.

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CindyP894, New York, United States, 22 minutes ago

The Musk family is seriously lacking in morals.

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jh0171, Los Angeles, United States, 22 minutes ago

He may be a genius, but not a shred of common sense or decency.

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Egyptian King, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7 minutes ago

But is he really a genius or just a good tech entrepreneur?

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stacee, San Diego, United States, 22 minutes ago

I don’t see how anyone sleeps with him. But to each their own.

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ReaderRick, Atlanta_GA, moments ago

He is rich. Sad, but simple.

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Jordan The Great, Just around the corner, United Kingdom, 23 minutes ago

Elon Musk is a proper lad. I like the guy more and more everyday.

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RFASanchez, English South Coast , United Kingdom, 23 minutes ago

Very rich men, fighting over a women.

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mia wallace94, The Stars Village, Antarctica, 23 minutes ago

He didn’t force her. She went willingly. So this is a non story DM. Next.

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kimlvsneil, Lebanon , United States, 24 minutes ago

Very misleading headline like usual. They were separated.

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DimSiaradGymraeg, Swansea, United Kingdom, 7 minutes ago

I thought the same thing.

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dank420, Philadelphia, United States, 24 minutes ago

Leave Elon alone

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2 of 3 repliesSee all replies

tarbuck, Swansea, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

Why

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AlphaMailOnline, London, United Kingdom, 8 minutes ago

He just wants to live a peaceful and quiet existence.

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NayNayMO, Paris of the Plains, United States, 24 minutes ago

Disappointing if true.

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Bryan B, Houston, United States, 24 minutes ago

Don’t accept a tour of the Boring company

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Metal40, Newcastle, United Kingdom, 24 minutes ago

Wish I was a multi billionaire so I couldn’t give a shti about anyone or anything

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Best Version, Warren, United States, 24 minutes ago

Folks on all levels of income do it all the time. Plus I’m pretty sure The billionaires club have a tiny circle of friends. They run in the same circles so actually it makes sense.

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they do make it up, nuneaton england, 25 minutes ago

Money helps to draw the women

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ChampaBay, Champabay, United States, 25 minutes ago

When 7th place was not good enough.

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sharon2266, Batley, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

Rude.

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Reality Check, Radlett, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

It’s tough at the top isn’t it ?

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Jayok123, Devon, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

Don’t know what they see in him? Oh yeah!

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freedom 2022 , Uk, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

Hang on, further down the story it literally says they where separated but living together so it wasn’t an affair was it

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RobDuke, Dallas, United States, 25 minutes ago

They were separated, not an affair.

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Theylosttheplot, Timbuktu, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

Guess AH has started leaking dirt on him until he pays for her appeal.

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Justme94, Lala Land California, United States, 26 minutes ago

Musk is so gross.

THIS IS THE MANUAL USED BY GOOGLE, THE WHITE HOUSE, FUSION GPS, ELON MUSK, GAWKER MEDIA, GIZMODO MEDIA, BLACK CUBE, PODESTA GROUP, MEDIA MATTERS, SID BLUMENTHAL AND OTHER WHITE HOUSE PARTNERS TO ATTACK CITIZENS AND REPORTERS ONLINE –

The Gentleperson’s Guide To Forum Spies

Index:

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum:

Technique #1 – ‘FORUM SLIDING’

Technique #2 – ‘CONSENSUS CRACKING’

Technique #3 – ‘TOPIC DILUTION’

Technique #4 – ‘INFORMATION COLLECTION’

Technique #5 – ‘ANGER TROLLING’

Technique #6 – ‘GAINING FULL CONTROL’

8 Traits of the Disinformationalist:

  1. Avoidance.

  2. Selectivity.

  3. Coincidental.

  4. Teamwork.

  5. Anti-conspiratorial.

  6. Artificial Emotions.

  7. Inconsistent.

  8. Time Constant.

17 Techniques for Truth Suppression:

  1. Dummy up.

  2. Wax indignant.

  3. Characterize the charges as “rumors”

  4. Knock down straw men.

  5. Call the skeptics names like “conspiracy theorist”

  6. Impugn motives.

  7. Invoke authority.

  8. Dismiss the charges as “old news”

  9. Come half-clean.

  10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

  11. Reason backward

  12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.

  13. Change the subject.

  14. Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them.

  15. Baldly and brazenly lie.

  16. Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges “expose” scandals and champion popular causes.

  17. Flood the Internet with agents.

25 Rules of Disinformation:

  1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

  2. Become incredulous and indignant.

  3. Create rumor mongers.

  4. Use a straw man.

  5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.

  6. Hit and Run.

  7. Question motives.

  8. Invoke authority.

  9. Play Dumb.

  10. Associate opponent charges with old news.

  11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.

  12. Enigmas have no solution.

  13. Alice in Wonderland Logic.

  14. Demand complete solutions.

  15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.

  16. Vanish evidence and witnesses.

  17. Change the subject.

  18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.

  19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs.

  20. False evidence.

  21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body.

  22. Manufacture a new truth.

  23. Create bigger distractions.

  24. Silence critics.

  25. Vanish.

CONCLUSION

Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precidence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline.

This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.

More Info

25 February 2014. Related: GCHQ Full-Spectrum Cyber Effects:

http://cryptome.org/2014/02/gchq-cyber-effects.pdf

24 February 2014. Related: GCHQ Online Deception:

http://cryptome.org/2014/02/gchq-online-deception.pdf

GCHQ DISRUPTION Operational Playbook:

http://cryptome.org/2014/02/gchq-disruption.pdf

29 January 2014. Related: GCHQ Squeaky Dolphin Psychological Operations:

http://cryptome.org/2014/01/gchq-squeaky-dolphin.pdf (18MB)

4 March 2012. Precursor to this sabotage, OSS Sabotage of Organizations:

http://svn.cacert.org/CAcert/CAcert_Inc/Board/oss/oss_sabotage.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/72iqux/hello_rbtc_here_is_what_you_are_up_against/

Index:

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum:

Technique #1 – ‘FORUM SLIDING’

Technique #2 – ‘CONSENSUS CRACKING’

Technique #3 – ‘TOPIC DILUTION’

Technique #4 – ‘INFORMATION COLLECTION’

Technique #5 – ‘ANGER TROLLING’

Technique #6 – ‘GAINING FULL CONTROL’

8 Traits of the Disinformationalist:

Avoidance.

Selectivity.

Coincidental.

Teamwork.

Anti-conspiratorial.

Artificial Emotions.

Inconsistent.

Time Constant.

17 Techniques for Truth Suppression:

Dummy up.

Wax indignant.

Characterize the charges as “rumors”

Knock down straw men.

Call the skeptics names like “conspiracy theorist”

Impugn motives.

Invoke authority.

Dismiss the charges as “old news”

Come half-clean.

Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

Reason backward

Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.

Change the subject.

Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them.

Baldly and brazenly lie.

Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges “expose” scandals and champion popular causes.

Flood the Internet with agents.

25 Rules of Disinformation:

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

Become incredulous and indignant.

Create rumor mongers.

Use a straw man.

Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.

Hit and Run.

Question motives.

Invoke authority.

Play Dumb.

Associate opponent charges with old news.

Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.

Enigmas have no solution.

Alice in Wonderland Logic.

Demand complete solutions.

Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.

Vanish evidence and witnesses.

Change the subject.

Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.

Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs.

False evidence.

Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body.

Manufacture a new truth.

Create bigger distractions.

Silence critics.

Vanish.

Propaganda and Debating Techniques
by 
A. Orange

 

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle acknowledges that it would be better if we could make our case without either browbeating or flattering the audience; nothing should matter except “the bare facts.” Yet he laments, “other things affect the result considerably, owing to the defects of our hearers.”
— Stanley Fish, in his blog “Think Again” in the New York Times, 2008.11.09
http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/psychology-and-torture/?apage=1


“I soon realized that the correct use of propaganda is a true art which has remained practically unknown to the bourgeois parties. Only the Christian-Social movement, especially in Lueger’s time, achieved a certain virtuosity on this instrument, to which it owed many of its successes.”
— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 6, “War Propaganda”


“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
— Adolf Hitler


“Propaganda,” Goebbels once wrote, “has absolutely nothing to do with truth.”


“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
— George Orwell


“This election is not about issues,” Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager said this week. “This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.” That’s a scary thought. For the takeaway is so often base, a reflection more of people’s fears and insecurities than of our hopes and dreams.
— Judith Warner, New York Times, September 4, 2008

 


As you read the following pages, you will be exposed to quite a variety of deceptive propaganda techniques, logical fallacies, and lies (hopefully, none of them mine). You might as well learn a little about how the art and science of propaganda works, so that you can recognize the techniques as people try to fool your mind with them.

You probably already know a lot about this, whether you realize it or not, because politicians pull many of these standard stunts on you every election year, and you have grown immune to some of them. And modern advertising uses a lot of them, too, and you just tune them out. Nevertheless, let’s just do a quick over-view of propaganda techniques.

Bear in mind that “propaganda” is not inherently a dirty word — it just usually is. Any time you are trying to convince anyone of something, you are using some kind of persuasion, debating, or propaganda technique. Just telling the whole truth about something is one simple propaganda technique, and a highly effective one. But lying often works better, at least with some audiences…

Master these propaganda techniques, and you too will be able to proselytize and promote cult religion and radical politics just like a battle-hardened old-timer.


PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES:

DEBATING TECHNIQUES:



PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES:

  • Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth.
    This can be highly effective, and very convincing, if you know your subject material well, and are a good speaker.

    … And IF the truth is really what you want your audience to hear and believe.

    The Truth, as a matter of habit, has some disadvantages: You have to learn and remember a whole lot of facts, and keep them straight in your head. The facts might not always be what you wish them to be. And, alas, the truth is sometimes very boring…

  • Lie
    This one is simple, straight-forward, and obvious. Just lie and say whatever you want to. It has the advantages that you don’t need to memorize so many facts, and you can make up new facts when the currently-existing ones don’t suit your purposes. The disadvantages are that you might get caught in a lie, and that would destroy your credibility.

    “You’re never going to make it in politics. You just don’t know how to lie.”
    Richard M. Nixon
    Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents, Cormac O’Brien, page 228.

  • Lie By Omission and Half-Truths
    This is also known as Suppressed Evidence.

    This one is more subtle. It has the advantage that you can’t get caught in a lie, because everything that you say is true. You just happily fail to mention all of those bothersome little facts that do not support your point of view. Should a critic point out one of those annoying undesired facts, you can at least feign innocent ignorance, or claim that the fact is really just an unimportant, trivial detail, not worth mentioning.

    For example: In 1908, the Lutheran minister Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman got into a squabble over money with the trustee committee of their hospice for young men in Philadelphia, and in an angry huff, Buchman resigned and got on a boat for Europe. He ended up at a large religious convention in Keswick, England, where he felt that he had a spiritual transformation. He felt moved to write letters of apology to all six of the trustees with whom he had squabbled, humbly asking their forgiveness. Buchman said that none of them even bothered to answer his letters.

    That was rather unkind of them, wasn’t it? No wonder Buchman had a disagreement with them, if they were really so haughty and so inconsiderate that they would not even acknowledge a man’s humble apology and request for forgiveness…

    There is just one small detail that Frank Buchman left out in his telling of that story: Buchman didn’t put any return address on the envelopes that he mailed back to Philadelphia.

    Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN on May 8, 2001, that nuclear energy “doesn’t emit any carbon dioxide at all.”
    (CNN, 8 May 2001. Also see 
    http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/KYOTONUC.html)
    That is lying by omission. It is true that nuclear reactors do not create carbon dioxide while burning their nuclear fuel, but the process of mining the uranium is done by machines like bulldozers that create lots of carbon dioxide and air pollution as they burn diesel fuel. And so does the process of refining the ore and converting it into usable nuclear fuel, and transporting it to the reactor. And then there is the problem of disposal of the nuclear waste. That’s another giant hole to be dug with diesel-powered machines. If the whole fuel cycle is taken into account, then nuclear power creates several times as much CO2 as renewable energy sources. (
    The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies, Richard Heinberg, page 135.)


    Bill Wilson gave us lots of good examples of that technique. In chapter 8 of the Big Book, “To Wives”, the wives of the recovering alcoholics seem to give advice to the wives of other alcoholics:

    As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous, we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made.
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 8, To Wives, page 104.

    Sometimes there were other women. How heartbreaking was this discovery; how cruel to be told that they understood our men as we did not!
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 8, To Wives, page 106.

    We wives found that, like everybody else, we were afflicted with pride, self-pity, vanity and all the things which go to make up the self-centered person; and we were not above selfishness or dishonesty. As our husbands began to apply spiritual principles in their lives, we began to see the desirability of doing so too.
    At first, some of us thought we did not need this help. We thought, on the whole, we were pretty good women, capable of being nicer if our husbands stopped drinking. But it was a silly idea that we were too good to need God. Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives.   … We urge you to try our program, for nothing will be so helpful to your husband as the radically changed attitude toward him which God will show you how to have. Go along with your husband if you possibly can.
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 8, To Wives, page 116.

    Yes, Bill Wilson really would like you to feel that the wives understand as perhaps few can.

    The big problem with those quotes is that the To Wives chapter of the Big Book was not written by Lois Wilson or any of the other wives of the alcoholics — Bill Wilson wrote it all. Lois wanted to write it, but Bill didn’t trust his wife to say the right things, or to get the “style” the way he wanted it, he said, so he wrote the whole chapter himself, while pretending to be his own wife.

    What a huge difference that one tiny little fact makes. That chapter reads entirely differently, it becomes a sick twisted joke, when you know who the real author was.

    Bill Wilson perceptively analyzed his wife’s many mistakes for her, and confessed all of Lois’ sins for her (in print), and honestly admitted her many failings: her moral shortcomings and dishonesty and selfishness and her silly thinking that she was too good to need God (page 116). (She was “selfish” while she worked in Loesser’s department store to support his unemployed thieving philandering drunken ass for years and years.)

    Then Bill the housewife even lectured “the other girls” not to nag their husbands about their drinking, or else those guys will get mad and go sleep with their mistresses (page 111)… Like Bill did.


    Bill Wilson gave us many more examples of that Lie By Omission technique. Here, he is talking about doing Step Five, where we confess all of our sins and moral shortcomings to someone else:

    This is perhaps difficult, especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. Many of us thought it necessary to go much further. We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story.
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, pages 72-73.

    Wow. That’s really impressive. I guess we had better get down on our knees right now, and start confessing everything, holding nothing back!

    Right?

    Wrong.

    Notice that the rest of the logic is missing. That is, where do we see the report on the other people, who did confess everything, and then successfully abstained from drinking? There is no such report, because they all relapsed too. The early New York group that Bill Wilson was writing about had a very high relapse rate. Fully fifty percent of the original Big Book authors relapsed and returned to a life of drinking. In Akron, Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob calculated that they had only a 5% success rate in sobering up alcoholics (which is the same as the success rate of people who quit on their own). Bill Wilson couldn’t keep ’em sober not for nuthin’. The cult religion routine didn’t work at all.

    But Bill didn’t want to talk about that, because he was a faithful Buchmanite who believed that you must confess your sins to everyone else in your group if you are to be holy. So Bill was doing everything in his power to make everyone holy, even if it didn’t make them sober.

    And note how Bill also gave us illustrations of a few other propaganda techniques:

    • The Straw Man Tactic:
      “We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves.”
      “They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty…”
      Those people who think that they don’t really need to do all of Bill Wilson’s wonderful 12 Steps are really stupid egotistical dishonest cowards, aren’t they?

    • Hiding Behind Others:
      The use of “We” to create the false impression that it was more than just the opinion of Bill Wilson — that many people had done a whole lot of research on the subject, and had gained a lot of valuable experience in what really works to keep people sober: 
      “We think… We usually find…” The truth is, when Bill wrote that paragraph in December of 1938 and January of 1939, there were only 60 or 70 sober A.A. members in the whole world, and they didn’t all agree with him. Their major experience was in watching Bill Wilson’s religious program fail to keep them sober, with most of the early A.A. members relapsing and leaving. Here, Bill Wilson was really just pushing his own strange Buchmanite religious beliefs, and trying to convince others that his ideas were the only things that work.

    • Lying by Omission (some more):
      Half of those few sober A.A. members didn’t like or do Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps. They were the members who demanded that Bill’s 12 religious steps be called “suggestions”, not requirements, because they saw clearly that Bill’s dogmatic religiosity would drive away many of the alcoholics whom the program was supposed to help. See page 59 of the Big Book — the steps are only “suggested as a program of recovery”. But here, Bill wants to fool you into thinking that all of the sober members did Step Five thoroughly, holding nothing back, and that’s why they were sober.

    • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc: “It happened after ‘X’, so it was caused by ‘X’.
      “Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives.   …   Almost invariably they got drunk.”
      Bill Wilson doesn’t really give us any evidence that withholding embarrassing personal secrets makes people drink alcohol, just like he doesn’t give us any evidence that confessing sins to other A.A. members makes people get sober. He just wants to fool us into thinking it. I can with equal validity argue that they all relapsed because they wore clothes to the meetings:

      Time after time, we have seen newcomers make the stupid mistake of wearing clothes to A.A. meetings. Almost all of the newcomers who relapsed wore clothes. (What sins and bodily imperfections were they trying to hide?) Almost invariably, they got drunk. And almost all of the people who wore clothes to A.A. meetings eventually dropped out.

      Conclusion: Obviously, wearing clothes to A.A. meetings causes people to drink alcohol.

    • Sly SuggestionsFear Mongering, and Creating Phobias:
      “If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.”

      Then again, we might. (I did.)
      Notice how Wilson lies to you obliquely, by hints and suggestions, to lead you to an erroneous conclusion: “…we may not overcome drinking.”

      And Wilson does it again, here:
      “… they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.”
      We think“? It’s hard to prove that Wilson is lying when he plants a suggestion like that. He might actually think that all of that crazy stuff is really true.

      And we can again use the clothes clause:
      “We think the reason that they relapsed is because they never completed the task of taking off all of their clothes and fully exposing themselves to the whole group.”

    • And who says that Step Five is a vital step? Well, Bill Wilson does. That’s assuming facts not in evidence, assuming facts yet to be proven, the trick called petitio principii. We have absolutely no evidence, other than Bill Wilson’s deceitful declarations, that Step Five is in any way necessary, or even helpful, for quitting drinking.

    • Sarcasm, Condescension, and Patronizing Attitudes:
      “Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods.”
      If you won’t do what Bill Wilson says, and humbly grovel before your sponsor and confess all of your sins, then you are just a weak, wimpy, unspiritual lazy bum who is guilty of seeking “an easier, softer way.”
      (
      You couldn’t possibly be seeking a saner way to recover.)
      Real men are proud to masochistically grovel on their knees and wallow in guilt.

    For another example of lying by omission, look closely at this text:

          Despite four decades of AA research, no clear picture has emerged as to which patient characteristics can predict a positive outcome with AA and, therefore, can be used as criteria for matching patients to AA.   …
    To date, only three randomized clinical trials have examined the efficacy of AA participation, either with or without additional simultaneous treatment approaches (Ditman et al. 1967; Brandsma et al. 1980; Walsh et al. 1991). The vast majority of AA studies, however, have focused on two narrower questions: Which factors predict whether a person will join AA? And how does involvement in AA predict outcome? In an attempt to answer these two questions, Emrick and colleagues (1993) reviewed 107 previously published AA studies.
    Tonigan, J. Scott, Hiller-Sturmhofel, Susanne, Alcohol Health & Research World, 0090838X, 1994, Vol. 18, Issue 4.

    • The authors almost accurately stated that there have only been three good randomized clinical trials of the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous treatment ever done. (Actually, they ignored two of the best tests of all, the very large test done by Drs. Orford and Edwards in England, and also Dr. George E. Vaillant’s clinical trial, which also had merit.)

    • But the authors did not tell us what those three good clinical trials actually found. They did not say one word about what Doctors Ditman, Brandsma and Walsh reported.

    • Instead, the authors did a quick tap-dance towards “the vast majority of A.A. studies” that were not properly done and are not scientifically or medically valid. Then they cited a survey done by Emrick where he examined 107 of those less-reliable “studies”, essays, opinions, and propaganda articles.

    So what did those three valid clinical trails find? They found that Alcoholics Anonymous was a disaster:

    • Dr. Ditman found that participation in A.A. increased the alcoholics’ rate of rearrest for public drunkeness.

    • Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking. After several months of indoctrination with A.A. 12-Step dogma, the alcoholics in A.A. were doing five times as much binge drinking as a control group that got no treatment at all, and nine times as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.
      Teaching people that they are alcoholics who are powerless over alcohol yields very bad results. It becomes a self-fulfilling prediction — they relapse and binge drink as if they really are powerless over alcohol.

    • And Dr. Walsh found that the so-called “free” A.A. program was actually very expensive — it messed up patients so that they required longer periods of costly hospitalization later on.

    • And the authors could have mentioned that Doctors Edwards and Orford found that A.A. was completely ineffective, and that having a doctor talk to the alcoholic for just one hour, telling him to quit drinking or else he would likely die, worked just as well as a whole year of A.A. meetings.

    • And the authors could have mentioned that Dr. George E. Vaillant, member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., found in his 8-year-long test that A.A. was completely ineffective, and just raised the death rate in alcoholics. His A.A.-based treatment program had the highest death rate of all of the treatment programs that he studied.

    But the authors mentioned none of that. They just started talking about matching patients to A.A. without ever having established whether A.A. works or helps alcoholics even a little bit, or that we even should try to match alcoholics to Alcoholics Anonymous. What is the point of sending patients to A.A. when it just makes them worse, and makes them binge drink and die? (So that also makes it an example of the propaganda trick Assume The Major Premise.)

  • Hide the Truth
    Hide the truth by erasing it, or rewriting it, or destroying evidence, or stashing it someplace out of sight. Don’t let people see the truth.

    Such dishonest behavior is often rationalized by saying, “We don’t want people to get the wrong idea.”
    Which really means: “We don’t want people to get the right idea.”

    The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was famous for this. He massively rewrote Russian history. His agents actually went into libraries and cut pages out of books, and replaced them with other pages that said what Stalin wanted the people to read. People whom Stalin did not like and had killed — particularly other old Communists who could compete with Stalin for leadership — were simply erased from history. They became “non-persons” (which was the official term for someone who was erased from existence). They supposedly had no part in the Revolution. Their pictures were airbrushed out of historical photographs. All records of their existence were erased. They were never born. They simply never existed.

    Bill Wilson taught hiding the truth as a standard recruiting trick. In his history of Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, Bill Wilson wrote:

    When first contacted, most alcoholics just wanted to find sobriety, nothing else. They clung to their other defects, letting go only little by little. They simply did not want to get “too good too soon.” The Oxford Groups’ absolute concepts — absolute purity, absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love — were frequently too much for the drunks. These ideas had to be fed with teaspoons rather than by buckets.
    Besides, the Oxford Groups’ “absolutes” were expressions peculiar to them. This was a terminology which might continue to identify us in the public mind with the Oxford Groupers, even though we had completely withdrawn from their fellowship.
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, pages 74-75.

    The alcoholics (whom Bill Wilson deprecatingly called “drunks” who didn’t want to be good) just wanted to quit drinking; they didn’t want to join Bill’s crazy Buchmanite cult religion with its ridiculous Absolutes. So Bill Wilson’s answer to that problem was to deceive the newcomers, and hide the intense religiosity of A.A., and to also hide the Buchmanite Oxford Group cult religion roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, until after the newcomers had been indoctrinated and brainwashed enough… Mr. Wilson candidly admitted that he was practicing deceptive recruiting, not honestly telling the newcomers what membership in his group would really entail. And now, the A.A. slogan “Teaspoons, Not Buckets” teaches standard A.A. recruiting procedure.

    The Alcoholics Anonymous shrine called “Stepping Stones”, that was Bill Wilson’s house in Bedford Hills, has been similarly cleansed of undesired information and unwanted history. There used to be a “spook room”, downstairs to the left, where Bill Wilson would conduct séances each day, and play with a Ouija board and talk to ghosts and the spirits of dead people. Bill Wilson routinely practiced necromancy and spirit-rapping and channeling of spirits, and fancied himself a skilled medium. The bookshelf in the room was full of spiritual and occult books. All of that is gone. The room has been “refurbished” to the point that nothing original is left, not even the wallpaper. Now the room features new furniture and a clear plastic bookshelf that contains only A.A. council-approved books (which are for sale in the bookstore). All documents pertaining to Bill Wilson’s “spook sessions” have been removed and locked up in the sealed A.A. historical archives, where no one may see them.

    For that matter, those historical archives are loaded with documents and history that you are not supposed to see (and probably never will see). There are the early financial records where Bill Wilson stole the Big Book publishing fund and the copyright of the Big Book. There are the letters where Clarence Snyder complained about Bill Wilson’s financial dishonesty. There are accounts of Bill Wilson’s misbehavior, like philandering and LSD consumption. There is so much interesting stuff in that archive that the leaders of A.A. will not even release a list of what all is really in there.

  • Lie With Qualifiers
    Make sweeping statements to give the impression you want, but insert so many qualifiers that the statements are meaningless, or downright dishonest. This is also known as “insert loopholes” into statements.

    You get bombarded with advertisements that say,
    “Make up to $6000 per month working from home.”
    Up to? Why the upper limit? Why not a lower limit? Why don’t they advertise,
    “Make at least $3000 per month working from home”?

    And Qwest says, “You get free long distance (except for a 10 cents per minute surcharge).” 
    If you have to pay 10 cents per minute, then it isn’t free at all.

    A bank advertises: “We can close your loan in as little as two weeks. Guaranteed.” 
    That isn’t a guarantee. That open-ended qualifier. “In as little as” means that they might close your loan in two weeks, or two months, or two years, or whenever…

    2010-05-24: BP (British Petroleum) says that it “will pay all legitimate claims for damage” from their immense oil spill. What is “legitimate”, and who gets to decide which claims are “legitimate”? Is BP really going to pay much at all? After the Exxon-Valdez ran aground and dumped its load, Exxon delayed payments for the Prince William Sound disaster for 20 years and then got the Supreme Court to reduce the payments to nearly nothing.

    And then of course there is the recent example of the crazy Republican politician Rep. Todd Aiken who ranted about “legitimate rape”, and claimed that women wouldn’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape”. (I guess only insincere rape gets a girl pregnant.)

    And A.A. gives us numerous examples:
    “It works, if you work it.”
    “It works, if you make it work.”
    Yes, and eating vanilla ice cream worksif you make it work.
    Dancing in a ballerina’s tutu works, if you make it work.

    Likewise,
    “The Alcoholics Anonymous program works great for the rare few people for whom it works great.”

    In The Promises, Bill Wilson wrote:

    If we are painstaking about this phase of our development [Step 9], we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
    The A.A. Big BookAlcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, page 83.

    So of course if we are not amazed, then we were not painstaking enough…

    Another example: the A.A. faithful read this statement out loud at the start of every A.A. meeting:

    RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
    The A.A. Big BookAlcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, Chapter 5, “How It Works”, page 58.

    How could Bill Wilson write such a line when A.A. had a horrendously high failure rate?
    Simple: the A.A. program requires people to abstain from drinking alcohol, so if they relapse and drink, then they aren’t 
    “thoroughly following our path”, are they?

    With that qualifier, Bill Wilson could have written,
          “NEVER have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”.

    For another example, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of the Big Book, page XX, Bill Wilson wrote:

    Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn’t want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.

    The impression we get is that A.A. worked great, and sobered up 75% of the alcoholics pretty fast, and that all of the alcoholics benefited at least a little bit, if they just tried. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Later, Bill Wilson told the truth:

    You have no conception these days of how much failure we had. You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.
    Bill Wilson, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

    This quote gives us the impression that A.A. had about a one or two percent recruiting success rate: You have to “cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.” But that “handful” is people who just “take the bait” and join Bill’s club. How many of those gullible joiners actually stayed sober for a year or more? Even less, for sure. So the real long-term A.A. success rate was under one percent, even by Bill Wilson’s own reckoning.

    So how do we reconcile the vastly different numbers in those two statements? Easy. We use qualifiers:

    • First off, Bill Wilson began the first quote with a major qualifier about those alcoholics “who came to A.A. and really tried”. If they didn’t join A.A., or they didn’t “really try”, then they weren’t counted.

    • And who decided whether they had really tried?
      Well, Bill Wilson, of course.
      Heck, with that qualifier, Bill Wilson could make the numbers into anything he wanted them to be.

    • The last qualifier counted only “those who stayed on with A.A.”, so those who relapsed and left A.A. and didn’t “Keep Coming Back” didn’t count either. That conveniently eliminated all of the drop-outs, deaths, and failures from the statistics. So there wasn’t a single case “of those who stayed on” that didn’t “show improvement” in the statistics that Bill manufactured.

    • So we can have the reality that less than one percent of the alcoholics were actually success stories, joining A.A., quitting drinking and staying quit for many years, while, in the Big Book, after Bill Wilson prettied up the numbers with those qualifiers, it looked like at least 50% of the alcoholics were eventually getting sobered up by A.A. (75% of the two thirds who kept coming back).

    Cute, huh? Now that’s lying with qualifiers.

    (And it’s also a fair example of lying with statistics.)

    “Keep Coming Back! It Works! (…If you work it…)”

  • Lie With Statistics
    Speaking of which, there is the time-honored method of lying called Statistics.

    Both Mark Twain and Desraeli said that there are three kinds of lies:

    • Little White Lies,

    • Damned Lies,

    • and Statistics.

    You can have all kinds of fun with statistics:

    • Ninety-nine percent of all of the people who ate carrots between 1800 and 1900 are dead, so carrots are obviously very hazardous to your health. If you eat carrots long enough, you will certainly die.

    • President Eisenhower expressed astonishment and alarm when he was told that fully half of all Americans had below-average intelligence.

    • Likewise, fifty percent of all Americans have below-average income, or savings, or beauty, or housing, or education. It’s no wonder why the politicians don’t want to associate with all of those stupid, ugly, poor people, but guess who elects the politicians? If 80% of the stupid people, and 75% of the poor people, and 65% of the ugly people voted for a politician, then 220% of the poor, stupid, ugly people voted for the politician. No wonder that bozo got elected.

    • Another good one: Statistically, men who have survived two heart attacks almost never die from lung cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. There is just something about having heart attacks that protects people from death by cancer or cirrhosis. So, after you have had two heart attacks, you can smoke and drink all you want.

    • Ninety-three percent of the people who use statistics in their arguments just make them up, and the rest get the numbers wrong.

    • Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce.
      If you think that’s bad, consider that the other fifty percent end in death.

    • If you don’t buy a lottery ticket, then your chances of winning are zero. If you do buy a ticket (Powerball), your chances of winning are only 0.00000002 — 1 in 50 million. Both numbers are so close to zero that there is little point in your actually handing over your two dollars and buying a ticket — you still aren’t going to win.
      On the other hand, if you do buy a ticket, then your chances of winning are infinitely higher than if you don’t.

    • Public service announcements on TV and radio declare:

      “2 out of every 5 fatal automobile accidents was due to drinking. 33% of the drivers involved in fatal accidents had been drinking. 24% of the pedestrians involved in fatal accidents had been drinking. Therefore, alcohol intoxication is a major cause of automobile accidents, and drunk driving must be dealt with harshly.”

      That logic sounds impressive, but it’s completely wrong. Consider the reverse logic:

      “3 out of every 5 fatal automobile accidents did not involve drinking. 67% of the drivers involved in fatal accidents had not been drinking. And 76% of the pedestrians involved in accidents had not been drinking. Therefore, sobriety is undoubtedly the major cause of fatal automobile accidents, and sober driving must be outlawed immediately, and punished harshly.”

    • And we could really have fun, starting a big war with statements like, “Forty-five percent of the drivers in fatal automobile accidents were women, therefore women shouldn’t be allowed to drive.”
      (But if we did that, then 100% of the accidents would be caused by men. So men shouldn’t be allowed to drive.)

    • Some people often cite statistics like,

      “95% of all heroin addicts smoked marijuana before they graduated to the hard stuff. Therefore, marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to heroin.”

      That is also false logic. Consider this:

      “Further research has revealed that 99.8% of all heroin addicts consumed the white drug called milk for years before they graduated to the white powder called heroin. Therefore, giving children milk at school turns them into heroin addicts.”

      Or:

      “99% of all heroin addicts, cocaine addicts, amphetamine addicts, and marijuana users drank alcohol before they graduated to the harder stuff. Therefore alcohol is the universal gateway drug.”

      (Actually, there is a lot of evidence that alcohol really IS the universal gateway drug, but the cigar-smoking, whisky-guzzling Senators and Congressmen in Washington don’t want to hear that. They never tolerate hearing something bad about their own favorite drugs; they just want to hear bad stuff about other people’s favorite drugs — preferably other people who are poor, a different color or subcultural type, and not registered to vote.)

    • Another piece of propaganda on TV now says,

      “In roadside tests of reckless drivers after auto accidents, one out of three drivers tested positive for marijuana. Marijuana: It’s more harmful than we thought.”

      • They fail to establish any connection between having smoked marijuana some time in the previous 30 days (which is what the drug test detects) and driving recklessly or being in an auto accident today. They could just as well have tested for coffee, and then found that “Coffee! It’s more harmful than we thought.”

      • And more harmful than who thought?
        The anti-drug lunatics have been swearing that marijuana produces instant insanity and addiction ever since they made that Reefer Madness movie back in the ‘thirties. They have never said that marijuana was harmless. So they are also using the Sly Suggestions propaganda technique, implying that we thought it was less harmful than it really is.

      • Also note that two thirds of those reckless drivers managed to get into their accidents without any help from pot. Logically, we must conclude that NOT smoking pot causes more reckless drivers to get into auto accidents than smoking it.

      • That propaganda also did not say that the pot-smoking drivers actually caused any of the car accidents — they were just involved in the accidents. For all we know, they might have been hit from behind by drunk drivers.

      • Which brings up, how many of the drivers involved in the accidents were drunk?
        They didn’t tell us anything about that, did they? Why weren’t they saying,
        “Alcohol — it’s more harmful than we thought”?
        The propagandists appear to be hiding all evidence of drunk driving (
        lying by omission) and just trying to blame all of the auto accidents on marijuana. But we know from other propaganda, especially that disseminated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that alcohol is the major cause of fatal auto accidents. (But that’s a different TV commercial.)

      • One of the factors that really biases such a test is the fact that traces of marijuana will linger in body fat for up to a month, while the evidence of any use of alcohol, speed, cocaine, or heroin disappears within a day or two. That can make it look like there is a lot more pot smoking going on than there really is, while it fails to detect the chronic abuse of other drugs.

      • Speaking of which, they didn’t even say that they tested for those other drugs, did they? They only told us that they tested for marijuana. What else were the drivers on?

      Obviously, such propaganda is not designed to tell anyone the truth about drugs. It is just more lying politics as usual.

  • Scream Accusations of Lies and Lying
    This is just the opposite of telling a lot of lies: When your opponent tells some unpleasant truths that you don’t want to hear, scream accusations of lies and lying. Dismiss everything he says as a lie, no matter how true it is.

    Alcoholics Anonymous members use this technique often. Whenever they are presented with really undesired facts, like the fact that A.A. Trustee and Harvard Professor Dr. George E. Vaillant found from eight years of testing A.A. as a treatment for alcoholism, that A.A. was completely ineffective and just produced an appalling death rate, A.A. defenders simply complain that that is a lie.

  • Observational Selection
    Observational selection, also known as “cherry-picking”, is a tactic like counting the hits and forgetting the misses. See only what you wish to see. Overlook and ignore evidence you don’t wish to see. And encourage your audience to be equally blind. Observational selection will destroy the validity of any statistical study.

     

    All lies and jest,
    Still a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest.
    Ooh-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.
    The Boxer, by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle.

     

    The classic example of this is: Something very unusual happens, and it turns out that a tabloid “psychic” predicted it. So the “psychic” must be the real thing, able to see the future, right? Wrong. It turns out that the self-proclaimed “psychic” made many hundreds of screwy, off-beat “predictions”, and just by chance, one of them came true. The “psychic” just doesn’t bother to tell you about all of the wrong guesses that didn’t come true… Fans of Nostradamus still do this for him.

    That “psychic’s” stunt can be staged in very convincing ways, like:

    • The “psychic” writes his prediction on a piece of paper.

    • The paper is put into an envelope, which is sealed by several witnesses who put their seals on the envelope, and sign it and date it, and even add code numbers to later verify that it’s the envelope they sealed.

    • The envelope is kept locked in a safe or bank vault for a long time, until after The Big Event has happened.

    • Then, in a big showy ceremony, in front of hundreds of witnesses and many TV cameras, the safe is opened and the envelope is removed from the safe and opened, and there it is for all to see: unquestionable proof that the “psychic” predicted the event.

    You guessed it: the safe is also full of failed predictions, which the con artists happily ignore. (There may even be another envelope in the safe that contains a prediction that is the exact opposite of what just happened… The code numbers on the envelopes tell the con artists which prediction is in which envelope.)

    Another way to use observational selection to get desired results is to do many studies or tests, and only report the results that you like. For example, suppose you are a P.R. firm hired to make Buzz Cola look better than Fizz Cola. You could get 1000 people to do a taste test, to see which they liked better, but you don’t. You do 100 “tests”, each of which have only 10 people in them. In 95 of the tests, the people liked Fizz Cola better. But by random chance, in the other 5 tests, a majority of the people liked Buzz better. So you report,
    “In test after test, a majority of the people chose Buzz Cola over Fizz.”
    Technically, that statement is true, even if it is deceptive as can be. You just don’t bother to mention all of the other tests where the people liked Fizz better.

    I didn’t mean to pick on any real cola brand names there. I wrote that paragraph many years ago, and just made up the names “Buzz” and “Fizz” to avoid using names like “Coke”® and “Pepsi”®. That was years before I ever heard of any Buzz or Fizz Cola. Years later, I was really surprised to find that somebody used both of those names for actual brands of soft drinks. Sometimes, reality mimicks satire.

    And obviously, another way to rig any test or study is to cherry-pick the people who will be in the test. If you want ‘Group A’ to look better than ‘Group B’, then put all of the promising candidates in Group A, and put all of the losers in Group B. (That is why real valid tests must be randomized. You must throw dice, or pick names out of a hat, or something like that, to choose which people go into which group.)

    The government uses a subtle form of observational selection and cherry-picking in reporting the national unemployment rate: They only report those people who are actively looking for work at the unemployment office. People who have despaired and given up looking for work, or who are still looking but have simply stopped asking at the unemployment office, are erased from the rolls of “the unemployed”, and are not counted when the government calculates the national unemployment rate. (Likewise, someone who accepts a menial job for minimal wages out of sheer desperation — even a part-time minimum-wage job — is considered no longer unemployed.) The real unemployment rate is always much higher than the government reports, no matter which political party controls the government. They all misreport the facts.

    Another example of observational selection:
    Smith: “I have here 29 files that describe cases where people went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and quit drinking. So we have a demonstrated relationship between people going to meetings and quitting drinking.”
    Jones: “How many cases of failure were there, where the people went to A.A. meetings but didn’t quit drinking?”
    Smith: “I didn’t study them. They weren’t interesting, because they were just failures. I’m more interested in what works. Besides, those other people don’t count because they didn’t keep coming back.”

    That is just like Bill Wilson only printing selected success stories in the Big Book.

    And that is just like how Alcoholics Anonymous claims a great success rate today. The people who relapse and leave are not counted — A.A. says that they didn’t “work the program” right, or they didn’t “keep coming back”, so they don’t count. Only the people who stay in A.A. and attend many meetings (usually because they quit drinking) get counted.

    Some treatment facilities use a variation on Observational Selection — they cherry-pick their patients, drafting into their program as many of the most promising prospective patients as they can get, in order to improve their “success rate”:
          “You have someone who just quit drinking two weeks ago? You say that he quit once before, and stayed sober for three years, all on his own, without any treatment or A.A. or anything — just going it alone? Quick! Shove him into our treatment program, so that we can ‘treat’ him, and teach him how to stay sober for six months. Then we can score him as one of our ‘success stories’.”
    (That story is 100% autobiographical — that’s my own personal experience with a “treatment program”.)

    Likewise, most all treatment centers are very deceptive when they advertize their success rates — they only reveal what percentage of the program graduates are sober shortly after the end of the program. They ignore all of the people who drop out, flunk out, and relapse and disappear, and do not include them in the reported statistics. (They rationalize that deception by saying, “Well, they didn’t finish the program, so they don’t count.”)

    If 100 people start a program, and ten of them last until graduation, and 8 of them are still clean and sober a month later, then the treatment center advertizes an 80% success rate. That is obviously false. A mere 8% success rate is obviously closer to the truth. But then the treatment centers do not do a follow-up a year later, to see what the real long-term success rate is. That would reveal even more failures. In the final analysis, the success rate of the treatment programs is little or nothing more than the normal rate of spontaneous remission — the success rate of people who get no treatment at all (approximately 5% per year).

    And I know of a drug treatment program that rejects, and will not even try to treat, any and all people who have been treated before and then relapsed — even their own graduates — because the program managers are afraid that those relapsers will relapse again and pull down the program’s average “success rate”. That program also discounts all of their dropouts and relapsers. When someone “goes out” and uses drugs, or gets arrested for something, the counselors simply erase that person’s name from the list of patients, and they do not count him in computing their success rate. Then they claim that their program is very successful and greatly reduces the crime rate of their patients (those few remaining patients who are not currently out stealing to get a fix).

    When such a treatment center announces that it has reduced crime in its patients by a certain amount, it is lying with statistics. It is not revealing the resulting average crime rate of all of the clients who started treatment; the T.C. is only revealing the average crime rate of those few successful patients who are still sticking with the program and still abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

     

    Another kind of observational selection is interpreting data in a biased manner, seeing what you wish to see. That is illustrated in this story:

          A drug and alcohol treatment center that used acupuncture on its clients (PAAC) wanted to show that acupuncture reduced cravings for drugs and alcohol in patients who were in recovery, so that the treatment center could produce a report that justified continuing to bill health insurance companies and state agencies for more acupuncture treatments. So they conducted a survey where they questioned their patients to see how the acupuncture treatment was affecting them:
    Counselor: “How are you doing with cravings for alcohol?”
    Patient: “No problem. I don’t have any.”
    Counselor: “That’s because of the acupuncture.”
    Patient: “No, it’s because I don’t have any cravings for alcohol. I am craving cigarettes like mad, because I also quit smoking, but I’m not craving alcohol.”
    Counselor: “That’s because of the acupuncture. I’ll write down that acupuncture has reduced your cravings for alcohol.”
    Patient: “No, actually it hasn’t. I just don’t have a problem with cravings for alcohol. I didn’t have any cravings the last time I quit drinking, all on my own, without any treatment or acupuncture, and I don’t have any this time either. I am too busy crawling the walls for a cigarette to crave alcohol.”
    The counselor wrote “acupuncture reduced cravings” anyway.

    That story is also autobiographical, and 100% true.

    Later, the city and state agencies received a report that declared that a survey of the patients found that acupuncture was very helpful for reducing their cravings for drugs and alcohol, so the city agencies and the state health plan should continue to fund acupuncture treatment of patients in recovery.

    Notice that there was also no control group. That is, there should have been another group of patients who received no acupuncture, who were also surveyed to find out how much they were bothered by cravings. Then you compare the results from the two groups to determine what effect, if any, the acupuncture actually had on cravings for drugs or alcohol.

    Unfortunately, such properly-conducted research is almost never done by substance-abuse treatment centers. Their findings are usually just as phony as their claimed success rates.

     

    Another good stunt is to take surveys at A.A. or N.A. meetings. Only the faithful members who Keep Coming Back will be there to answer the questions. Asking,
    “Is there anyone here for whom the Twelve Steps did not work?”
    is the same stupid thing as asking,
    “Will everyone who isn’t here please raise your hand?”
    (Never mind the fact that it also immediately leads to an “Emperor’s New Clothes” situation where no one wants to confess that he is the only unspiritual one for whom the Steps are not working…)

    Observational selection does not have to be deliberate. One of the ever-present dangers to a researcher is accidental or unconscious bias in making observations. In a study of the use of LSD in therapy for alcoholism, the authors also studied the methods that other studies had used. Their observations were disconcerting — it seems that people have an unfortunate tendency to see whatever they wish to see whenever tests are not rigidly controlled. The various psychiatric treatments and medications being tested were successful in 83 percent of the uncontrolled studies, but only in 25 percent of the controlledstudies. How curious. It would seem that looking too closely, and measuring too carefully, makes the medicines or treatments suddenly stop working.

    That’s a good example of researcher bias. The researchers just really wanted their experiments to be sucesses, so that’s what they tended to see. But when their studies were rigorously controlled, then the researchers were forced to be more objective, and the observed success rate dropped sharply. (That is also why the FDA prefers double-blind studies, where neither the patients nor the doctors know whether the patients are getting the real medicine or a placebo.)

    A variation on the theme of Observational Selection is getting biased data even when you don’t wish to. In one survey, researchers sent out questionaires that essentially asked people to honestly reveal their racist attitudes. Not surprisingly, a lot of the questionaires were simply never returned, and lots more reported that the respondents just didn’t have any racist attitudes at all. As you can imagine, the resulting statistics showed that racism and racist attitudes were almost non-existent.

  • The Statistics of Small Numbers
    Also beware of The Statistics of Small Numbers, which is a different kind of observational selection. It is an error caused by looking at too small of a sample. For instance, “They say that one out of every five people on Earth is Chinese. That can’t be true. I know hundreds and hundreds of people, and only three of them are Chinese. So Chinese people must be pretty rare, really…”

    A variation of that is: A wildlife program on Public Television says: “One out of every four mammals is a bat.”
    Well, let’s see… “I know I’m not a bat, and my wife isn’t a bat, and Joe isn’t a bat, so Harry must be a bat.” Variations on The statistics of small numbers include:

    • Hasty Generalization: Generalizing from too-small a sample.

    • Inductive Generalization

    • Insufficient Sample

    • Insufficient Statistics

    • Leaping to Conclusion

    • Lonely Fact

    • Statistical Generalization

    • Converse Accident


    The statistics of small numbers problem appears in discussions of A.A. often. People will say things like, “We don’t have any nasty thirteenth-stepping sexual predators in our group,” and imagine that every other group in the whole country must be just the same, and that it doesn’t happen anywhere else either. Unfortunately, it does.

    Likewise, “Nobody in our group has committed suicide, so those stories about A.A. Suicides are ridiculous.”

    How can you be sure, unless you know every member of your group very well, and keep track of all of them, and check up on them, and know what shape each drop-out, quitter, or disappearance is really in? You don’t really expect them to commit suicide at the A.A. meetings, do you? And again, you have no idea what is happening in the other A.A. groups that you don’t visit. They sure aren’t going to email you to broadcast the news about their suicides.

    And again, No sponsors in our group tell the newcomers to quit taking their doctor-prescribed medications, so those stories must be untrue.”
    I wish they were. (And how do you know what some sponsor is telling his sponsee, if you aren’t listening in?)

  • Bury The Lead
    Burying the lead (pronounced, “leed”) is a newspaper term. It means that you hide the most important fact in the story down at the bottom of the article.

    For example, a recent newspaper article about the soaring price of oil tried to explain the price increases in terms of speculators buying oil futures, and political instability in foreign countries causing uncertainty in the market. Then they gradually got around to mentioning that India and China have booming economies that want ever more oil. And then finally, in the last sentence of the article, someone said, “Oil is getting harder to find.”

    Historically, one of the best examples of Burying The Lead was when the New York Times casually mentioned in a small article on page 9 of an issue, many months after the 2000 election, that if we had counted all of the votes (which is, after all, what you are supposed to do in a democracy), that Al Gore actually won the election.

  • The Big Lie
    The Big Lie is a technique that Adolf Hitler used with great success. The idea is that you just keep repeating the same lie over and over, in spite of all arguments or evidence to the contrary, until people believe it. Massive repetition is essential. (Think: “Why do they keep running the same stupid commercials on TV, over and over and over again, ad nauseum?”)

     

    “Tell a lie enough times and it will become the truth.”
    — Heinrich Himmler

    “A big lie is more plausible than truth.”
    — Ernest Hemingway

     

    Hitler explained his Big Lie technique in Mein Kampf,

    The greatness of the lie is always a certain factor in being believed; at the bottom of their hearts, the great masses of a people are more likely to be misled than to be consciously and deliberately bad, and in the primitive simplicity of their minds, they are more easily victimized by a large than by a small lie…. Some part of even the boldest lie is sure to stick.

    It’s a strange fact of human psychology that giant, totally outrageous lies are sometimes more believable than small lies, just by virtue of their bodaciousness. People feel that there must be something to it, because the claims are so extreme. People can’t help but feel that “Where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire.”

    In using the Big Lie technique, Hitler said, essentially,

    The Jews are an inferior race. The Jews have always been the thieving greedy bankers and money-lenders, bleeding the lifeblood out of our country. Everybody knows that the Jews are the cause of all of our problems, and now that we are imposing the Final Solution, we will soon be much better off without them.

    Today, the fascist rap is,

    Drug users and dealers are inferior people. They are really low, dirty and disgusting bums who deserve to die because they are drug users and dealers, and they don’t care about anything but getting high. Everybody knows that they are the major cause of all of our problems. When we impose the death sentence for more and more drug offenses, we will finally get rid of those dopers, and we will be much better off without them.

    And:

    Those poor, long-suffering rich people desperately need a tax cut. They have been treated so badly by the government for so long, it’s the least we can do to make it up to them. (Heck, some of them are down to their last billion.) Giving the rich people a tax cut will stimulate the economy so much that soon the wealth will trickle down, and we will all benefit from it.
    [Just like happened under Ronald Reagan and George Bush — Remember: “It’s the economy, stupid!”]

     

    And Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, said, in speaking of the “Shock and Awe” bombing war that he was waging against Iraq (March 21, 2003):
    You don’t understand how compassionate our bombing is.

    I’m sure that the children whose heads were blown off by malfunctioning smart bombs really thought that it was compassionate.

    On Jan. 27, 2004, NBC Evening News reported that the death toll of civilians killed in Iraq in the Bush vs. Saddam War had reached 10,000. That is a lot more than the 2900 Americans who died on September 11, so that’s a lot of pay-back. And Saddam Hussein of Iraq wasn’t even the guy who attacked America; it was Osama bin Laden from Saudi Arabia, remember? (The guy whom the CIA armed and funded during the Russia-Afghanistan War.)

    A few months later the score was 13,000 dead, and by April 16 it was up to 14,000, because of the battle in Fallujah That’s a lot of pay-back to a country that didn’t attack us.

    In just the two-week period from April 1 to April 15, 90 Americans and 900 Iraqis died, mostly in Fallujah, most of them civilians (punishment for the killing of four American civilian contractors in Fallujah).

     

    If reminds me of the Nazi reprisals during WWII. If one German soldier was killed by The Resistance in an occupied town, the Nazis would get their revenge by randomly shooting hundreds of civilians in that town, just making sure that somebody was always punished, even if it wasn’t the people who did it.

    When the German S.S. Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in Czechoslovakia by the Czech underground, the Germans simply totally annihilated a nearby town — Lidice — in reprisal. They immediately shot all of the men, and sent the women and children to concentration camps, where most of them eventually died. Then they burned and blasted and bull-dozed the town until nothing was left but rubble, and then the Germans erased the name of the town from the maps.

    When the war ended, the Allies assembled at the Geneva Convention and wrote up the Geneva Accords, which made such group punishment a war crime. (But then Donald Rumsfeld, G. W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, announced that the Geneva Convention was obsolete and that he did not wish to be limited by it.)

    So after four Blackwater contractors were killed in Fallujah, 900 residents of Fallujah were killed in reprisals — the vast majority of them being civilians, including plenty of women and children.

     

    On March 19, 2004, on the anniversary of the start of the war, it was revealed by major news networks that the U.S. forces had used cluster bombs against targets located in civilian areas of Bagdad during “Shock And Awe”. Such cluster bombing of civilians is a violation of international law. It’s a war crime. A U.S. military spokesmen said that the American commanding officers felt that such usage was “appropriate”.

    As of December, 2004: Now the city of Fallujah has been destroyed to eliminate the resistance, with a loss of Iraqi lives so high that the American officials won’t count them and release the count. They will not tell us how many civilians were killed by American firepower. The best study to date estimates that the total Iraqi death toll in the war is now over 100,000 — with most of them being civilians, including many, many children.

    As of 4 August 2005, the score was:

    • 1825+ U.S. military people dead in Iraq.

    • 43,000+ U.S. wounded, maimed, and crippled for life.

    • 113,000+ dead Iraqis, most of them civilians, including 30,000 children.

    And still, the Bush administration constantly repeats the chant that the war is a good thing. “Freedom is on the march.” That’s the Big Lie technique.

    UPDATE: July 2007: Now, of course, the war has gone on for two more years, and all of the body counts are much higher. The British medical journal Lancet reported last year that their estimation of Iraqi deaths was 600,000. The American deaths were 3546 as of 22 June 2007. And the people wounded, maimed, and crippled are uncountable.

    And still, George W. Bush prattles on about “victory in Iraq”, and “establishing democracy”, and “creating a stable government there”, and “when they stand up, we will stand down.”

    That’s the Big Lie technique.

     

    And A.A. says:

    • Alcoholics Anonymous is the best — the only — way to recover from alcoholism.

    • Nobody can do it alone.

    • Everybody knows that The Twelve Step programs work, and keep millions of people sober.

    • Alcoholics Anonymous is an enormously successful program.

    • “RARELY have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path…” (The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William Wilson, page 58.)

    • Everybody knows that A.A. is spiritual, not religious.

    • If you are having a problem with drinking too much alcohol, then you have a disease which only a spiritual experience will conquer. (The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William Wilson, page 44.)

    • Alcoholism is an incurable, progressive disease, often caused by an inherited gene, and a disease is respectable, not a moral stigma. (The Big Book, 3rd Edition, Marty Mann, Page 227.)

    • Nobody can quit drinking until they hit bottom and are ready to surrender to the A.A. program.

    • The best thing you can do for a loved one is force him to go to A.A. meetings, for his own good.

    • In A.A., nobody has any power over anyone else. In A.A., everybody is equal (but some people are more equal than others).

    • So Keep Coming Back! It Works if you work it… You die if you don’t. So work it, you’re worth it!

    In an official A.A. history book, A.A. co-founder Dr. Robert Smith said,

    He said, “Duke, I think this A.A. program will appeal to you, because it’s psychologically sound and religiously sane.”
    Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980, page 253.

    That statement is the exact opposite of the truth:

    And still, A.A. prints and distributes large quantities of propaganda that claims just the opposite.

    That’s the Big Lie technique.

    Here, Bill Wilson quoted Dr. Harry M. Tiebout quoting Bill Wilson, as if that would add authority to Bill’s faked numbers:

    “Alcoholics Anonymous claims a recovery rate of 75 percent of those who really try their methods. This figure, coupled with their mushroom growth, commands respect and demands explanation.”
    [Reprinted from The American Journal of Psychiatry, January 1944, “Therapeutic Mechanism of Alcoholics Anonymous”.]
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 310.

    Actually, such a figure commands contempt and derision, because it is a bare-faced lie. Alcoholics Anonymous never had a success rate anything like 75%; they didn’t even get a tenth of that. Notice how Tiebout repeated Bill Wilson’s grossly inflated and exaggerated claims of success as if they were true facts, and even cited them in professional journals. That is the Big Lietechnique, one more time again.

    [Also notice how cleverly Tiebout covered his own ass: He started off by saying that A.A. merely claimed to have a 75% success rate — a rate which Tiebout had to know was totally untrue, because Tiebout was Bill’s psychiatrist, and Tiebout had a number of other patients in A.A., too, so he could see what was going on. But then Tiebout just accepted Bill’s grossly exaggerated claims as correct, and declared that they “commanded respect and demanded explanation”. If anyone called Tiebout on it later by pointing out just how inaccurate those numbers really were, Tiebout could always just pass the buck to A.A., and say that he was just using their numbers.
    And the psychiatrist Dr. Tiebout accepted those inflated numbers as valid, in spite of his own diagnosis of Bill Wilson’s mental state as “immature and grandiose“, and stating that Bill Wilson was trying to live out “the infantilely grandiose demands” of “His Majesty the Baby.”]

    Since then, numerous A.A. shills have parrotted those false numbers without doing any research of their own. The West Baltimore Group of A.A. has a web page on the A.A. success rate that declares:

    Q – What is the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous?
    A – Of those sincerely willing to stop drinking about 50 per cent have done so at once, 25 per cent after a few relapses and most of the remainder have improved. (N.Y. State J. Med., Vol. 44, Aug., 1944)

    Of those alcoholics who wish to get well and are emotionally capable of trying our method, 50 per cent recover immediately, 25 per cent after a few backslides. The remainder are improved if they continue active in A.A. … (N.Y. State J. Med., Vol. 50, July 1950)
    What is A.A.’s Success Rate?http://www.voai.org/Success%20Rate.htm

     

    Notice how the West Baltimore Group of A.A. quoted the New York State Journal of Medicine as if it were endorsing Alcoholics Anonymous, and reporting the A.A. success rate. But that Journal was actually just publishing a piece of propaganda that was written by Bill Wilson, an article that Wilson got into the Journal with a letter of endorsement by Dr. Harry M. Tiebout — “Basic Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous” by William G. Wilson. (So much for anonymity.) That article contained the same false claims as Bill Wilson wrote in the foreword to the second edition of the “Big Book” — lines which were blatant lies when they were written, and which are still lies.

    Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement.
    William G. Wilson, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of 
    Alcoholics Anonymous, page XX, 1955.

    Those numbers were not even vaguely true, and still aren’t. You can read an analysis of those false claims here.

     

    Likewise, Bill Wilson wrote that an A.A. newcomer said:

    “Then I woke up. I had to admit that A.A. showed results, prodigious results. I saw that my attitude regarding these had been anything but scientific. It wasn’t A.A. that had the closed mind, it was me.”
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 27.

    That’s the Big Lie technique.


    And they have been doing that for a very long time, too. This phony “review” of the “Big Book” Alcoholics Anonymouswas published in The New York Times in 1939. It was actually written by a hidden A.A. true believer — Percy Hutchison, the New York Times poetry editor — who was scheming with Bill Wilson and the other early A.A. members to help sell the new A.A. book, not by any neutral observer or dispassionate critic, or by anybody who knew anything about treating alcoholism:

          Lest this title should arouse the risibles in any reader let me state that the general thesis of “Alcoholics Anonymous” is more soundly based psychologically than any other treatment of the subject I have ever come upon.

    “Alcoholics Anonymous” is unlike any other book ever before published. No reviewer can say how many have contributed to its pages. But the list of writers should include addicts and doctors, psychiatrists and clergymen.

    Here, then, is the key to “Alcoholics Anonymous,” the great and indisputable lesson this extraordinary book would convey. The alcoholic addict … cannot, by any effort of what he calls his “will,” insure himself against taking his “first dose.” We saw how the chap with his whiskey in milk missed out. There is one way for our authors, and but one way. The utter suffusion of the mind by an idea which shall exclude any idea of alcohol or of drugs.

    The thesis of the book is, if we read it aright, that this all-embracing and all-commanding idea must be religious. … There is no suggestion advanced in the book that an addict should embrace one faith rather than another. He may fall back upon an “absolute,” or “A Power which makes for righteousness” if he chooses. The point of the book is that he is unlikely to win through unless he floods his mind with the idea of a force outside himself. So doing, his individual problem resolves into thin air. In last analysis, it is the resigning word: Not my will, but Thine, be done, said in the full knowledge of the fact that the decision will be against further addiction.

    The argument, as we have said, has a deep psychological foundation.
    BOOK REVIEW, NEW YORK TIMES, June 25, 1939. ALCOHOLIC EXPERIENCE, By Percy Hutchison

    Percy Hutchison was actually prescribing religiomania — maniacal obsession with religion — and faith healing as the best cure for alcoholism. Religiomania and faith healing are not “soundly based psychologically”, and they do not have “a deep psychological foundation”. Nevertheless, the A.A. true believers persistently claim that A.A. does, even while they simultaneously brag that A.A. is not based on science. And they have been doing that for 76 years now.

    That’s the Big Lie technique. Just never stop telling the lie, no matter how absurd and contradictory it is..

     

    Percy Hutchison was the poetry editor of The New York Times.

    • What does a poetry editor know about medicine, alcoholism, or human psychology?

    • How could he claim that A.A. was the best cure for alcoholism that he had ever seen? How many others had he seen?

    • How could Hutchison claim to know that the problem of alcoholism would just “resolve into thin air” if an alcoholic followed Bill Wilson’s instructions?

    • What was Hutchison doing reviewing a book about a new cure for alcoholism, and recommending one treatment program over another?

    • When did Percy Hutchison become qualified to advise the public about critical life-or-death medical conditions like alcohol addiction? Isn’t that the job of the medical editor or the science editor or an actual doctor?

    Let me guess — Hutchison suggested the book to the newspaper’s editors, and volunteered to review it, because he really wanted people to hear about a “wonderful new fellowship that had a magical new treatment program for alcoholism…”

    The June 1940 financial report of “Works Publishing” says that the original New York A.A. group used the New York Times Book Review and several other media outlets to publicize and tout the newly-printed Big Book for free. Obviously, that so-called “book review” was a fraud — a very biased piece of promotional propaganda, a commercial for the book, not a fair objective analysis of the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

    That’s the Big Lie technique — just keep saying it, over and over and over again, as often as you can, and in as many places as you can, no matter what, until people believe it.

     

    And here another long-time true believer parrots the lie:

    It is probable that more contemporary alcoholics have found sobriety through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous than through all other agencies combined.
    Alcoholics Anonymous, an interpretation, by Milton A. Maxwell, Ph.D., contained in Chapter 33 of Society, Culture, and Drinking Patterns, David J. Pittman and Charles R. Snyder,editors, page 577.
    (Note that Milton A. Maxwell was a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc..)

    Actually, it isn’t “probable” at all. The truth is that the Harvard Medical School says that 80% of those alcoholics who successfully quit drinking for a year or more do it alone, on their own. That only leaves 20% who could possibly have recovered through Alcoholics Anonymous, and lots of those 20% did it in other ways too, like in Christian brotherhoods or monasteries, the Veterans’ Administration program, the Salvation Army, the Catholic DePaul program, Rational Recovery, SMART, SOS, WFS, etc…

    Considering the immense A.A. dropout rate and high A.A. failure rate, it is “probable” that very few of the successful sober alcoholics actually recovered through Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Today, the A.A. campaign of misinformation continues even in the halls of Congress:

    As the fabulously successful twelve-step program pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous has conclusively demonstrated, one cannot tackle a crisis until acknowledging the reality of a genuine problem.
    Statement of John C. Hulsman, Ph..D. Research Fellow for European Affairs, the Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation. Committee on House International Relations Europe Subcommittee June 11, 2003.

    I sincerely hope Mr. Hulsman knows more about foreign affairs than he knows about alcoholism treatment programs, or else we are liable to find ourselves trapped in a quagmire of unwinnable foreign wars…

    [P.S.: A year later: Let’s see now, how did that premonition work out?
    Afghanistan? Iraq? The so-called “War on Terrorism”?
    “Fabulously successful” easy victories, or quagmires?
    ]

    [P.S.: Two years later: Let’s see now, how did that premonition work out?
    “Fabulously successful” easy victories, or quagmires?
    ]

    [P.S.: Three years later… Four years later… Ten years later? Need I continue?]

  • Reversal Of Reality, and Counter-attack by Reversal of Reality
    Have the nerve to completely reverse reality, and say the exact opposite of the truth.

    A young woman wrote: “My roommate ‘borrows’ my clothes without my permission and she leaves them sweat-stained and stretched out. They are ruined. When I complain about it, she says that I am selfish.”

    When white women comprise the majority of the women receiving welfare, say that Black women comprise the majority of the women on welfare.

    As evidence accumulated that the Bush administration had lied, fabricated evidence, distorted other evidence, and hidden contradictory facts about the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq in order to manufacture an excuse to go to war, Vice President Dick Cheney declared:
    “The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory or their backbone, but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.”
    (TIME, Nov 21-27, 2005)

    Likewise, when CIA agent Valerie Plame’s cover was blown, Bush declared: “We are going to find those leakers and take care of them.”
    Of course, George Bush and Dick Cheney and their White House Chiefs of Staff turned out to be the leakers, but that’s okay, Scott McClellan said, because George had already declassified the secret information and approved of the leaks before they leaked it — so George knew who the leakers were even as he swore on TV that he would catch the leakers.


    2011.01.10: In the past few years, political rhetoric has become increasingly hostile and vicious. Sarah Palin’s web site showed pictures of Democrats’ districts with rifle cross-hairs on them, and Palin repeatedly instructed followers to “lock and load” and “reload”. And the Tea Party language was even worse, with barely-veiled death threats, and appeals for “Second-Amendment (gun) solutions” to problems.

    In the debate following the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the local sheriff in Tucson, Arizona, denounced the language of violence, and said that he felt that it had contributed to the shooting. Republican talking heads immediately responded by saying that his criticism of Right-wing inflamatory speech was “over the top” and “rhetoric”, and “inappropriate for an elected official”. That is reversal of reality.

    2011.01.12: Sarah Palin released a video where she complained about how she had suffered from attacks ever since the shooting, and that she was the victim of a “blood libel”. As if she suffered from a bullet through the head, or had lost a daughter or husband in the shooting. That is reversal of reality. That is also a good example of the Prima Donna Ploy, making it all about The Drama Queen.

    Another reversal of reality: A company that wants to set up a non-Indian casino (a new precedent for Oregon) advertises on TV that they will create millions of dollars — declaring that they will give the community millions of dollars in new taxes, and create thousands of new jobs with health care, and raise millions of dollars for education. The truth is, casinos never create money. They take money from people. Casinos do not manufacture anything of value; they just take money from the mathematically challenged customers. Ultimately, in the long run, casinos make states poorer, not richer. The end product of casinos is more impoverished citizens.

    Worse yet, the market for casinos is saturated. Now almost every state has legalized gambling in some form or another, and gamblers no longer need to drive to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to gamble. There is another casino just down the road, or just across the state line. Now the casinos are just fighting over market share, with one casino stealing customers from another. The casino business has become a zero-sum game, where one casino’s gain is another’s loss. Another casino doesn’t make more money for the community; it just makes some for the occasional lucky casino owner while reducing the profits of a neighboring casino.

    In another reversal of reality, a political commercial declares that the Democrats are hurting America by raising the debt ceiling and spending money on welfare programs, and that we should “put families first” instead. That is a reversal of reality. Not raising the debt ceiling has resulted in cutting funding for food stamps, which is just the opposite of “putting families first.” That is putting families last by taking food out of the mouths of children, and putting billionaires who don’t want to pay taxes first.

  • Projection
    Projection is a psychological technique where someone accuses other people of the sins and crimes of which he himself is guilty. Projection is also a kind of reversal of reality.

    For example, Adolf Hitler cited the forged document called The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as proving that the Jews had a secret program to take over the world by using deceit, lies, murder, planned wars, and all sorts of evil conspiracies, but it was actually Adolf Hitler himself who was carrying out such a plan for world domination. Hitler was doing all of the things for which he denounced the Jews.

    Similarly, cult leaders routinely accuse their followers and also outsiders of greed and lust while they steal all of the money and pretty women for themselves. And politicians are notorious for loudly denouncing the decline in national morals while they take bribes, drink like fish, and use their secretarial staff as a stable of mistresses. Some of the most vocal anti-homosexual Congressmen turned out to be closetted homosexuals who were screwing boys in the Congressional gymnasium.

  • Make a Virtue out of a Fault
    Advertise and promote a shortcoming or a fault as a virtue.

    For example, ultra-cheap single-use film cameras are advertised as “No Focusing Required.” The truth is, no focusing is possible, because those cameras have cheap plastic fixed-focus lenses that won’t move and can’t be focused. What is a serious shortcoming for a camera — the inability to properly focus on the subject — is sold as a convenience: “You don’t have to bother with focusing.”

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses this technique too. When the founder Bill Wilson is shown to have been a fraud, a liar, a felonious thief, a certified nutcase, a philandering sexual predator, and a con artist who sold cult religion as a quack cure for alcoholism, the true believers proclaim,

    “Isn’t it wonderful? It just goes to show that Bill Wilson was human. And if he could get sober, then so can we. God wanted Bill to be less than perfect so that he could be a good example for us all.”

  • Unsupported Claims
    Make any grand claims you wish, supported by no facts at all.

    The Red-baiter Senator Joseph McCarthy did it in his speeches in the 1950s like this:
    “I have in my hand a list of 205 Communists working in the State Department”,
    as he waved a piece of paper that had no names on it. (He never, ever, revealed that list of names, or any other list of names of Communists, either. McCarthy just went on to make more and more outrageous claims, also supported by no evidence, until the U.S. Senate got fed up with the routine, and censured him.
    14)

     

    On June 1, 2004, while talking about the high prices of gasoline, acting President G. W. Bush declared, “Had we had drilled in Anwar [National Wildlife Refuge], back in the mid nineties, we would be producing an additional million barrels a day by now.”

    He doesn’t know that. They might have drilled a bunch of dry holes while destroying the wildlife refuge. They might have had technical difficulties. Things might have frozen up. Eco-terrorists or foreign terrorists might have bombed the pipeline. A lot of things could have happened. Predicting alternative futures is always guesswork.

    Besides, that is all a smoke screen — a diversion of attention from the truth. The real bottleneck in producing more gasoline now is refineries — there have been almost no new refineries built in the USA in the last 30 years. Even worse, the oil companies are actually shutting down refineries to force gasoline prices even higher — so of course the supply of gasoline is tight.

    And the Republicans are notorious for killing alternative energy projects. President Carter started a lot of them, and then President Reagan shut them all down. Why don’t we talk about what kind of a world we would have today if Reagan had not killed alternative energy?

     

    Bill Wilson did it like this:

    The alcoholic, realizing what his wife has endured, and now fully understanding how much he himself did to damage her and his children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and to accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. At this point he firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of a bad boy. And above all he is finally convinced that reckless romancing is not a way of life for him.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, Page 119.

    • Where is the evidence that some unnamed stereotypical alcoholic reformed himself in that manner?

    • Where is the evidence that he got “fine results” from working the Twelve Steps?
      (And it says that he “often” got “fine results”. So did he get miserable results the rest of the time?)

    • Where is the evidence that the unnamed alcoholic stopped philandering and hurting his wife? Bill Wilson never did.

  • Imaginary Evidence

    Notice the lack of hard evidence in this article:

    Two recent studies support the potential effectiveness of this [12-Step] treatment when carried out by mental health professionals. The first studied alcohol-dependent outpatients. The group of subjects that received 12-step treatment improved substantially. The second study focused on VA inpatients with alcohol and/or other substance use disorders. At the one-year follow up, the group of subjects that had received 12-step treatment improved significantly in many life areas.

    A recent award-winning study conducted at SUNY-Albany lends support to this notion.
    Better Treatment for the MICA (Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted) Patient, Mark Lazarus, Coordinator, Partial Hospitalization Program, The Holliswood Hospital, NEW YORK CITYVOICES: April/May 2002

    Just try to figure out what studies the author is citing. It is impossible. (There was no bibliography.) You have no way of knowing whether the studies were valid or faked or improperly conducted, or whether the author interpreted the results correctly. While such grand statements sound good, they are actually meaningless because they are completely unverifiable, and hence, unreliable.

    Also notice the strange contradiction where 12-Step treatment programs are supposedly effective IF they are “carried out by mental health professionals.” But an often-repeated Alcoholics Anonymous boast is that they don’t use professional healers, because the non-professional A.A. sponsors are supposedly much better than professional therapists:

    Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I’d been going to for years couldn’t do!
    The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.

  • Use Association
    Association is just linking together two unrelated things. Often, it creates an emotional reaction in the intended audience. It can be anything like Guilt by Association, Honor by Association, or Desirability by Association, depending on what somebody or something is associated with.

    Advertisers routinely associate beautiful women in skimpy clothes with new cars, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, clothes, and diamond jewelry. TV commercials teach us that we can get laid if we use the right toothpaste and the right under-arm deodorant. So we have been programmed to consciously or unconsciously associate sex with all kinds of strange things.

    Likewise, many commercials teach us to associate sugar consumption with happiness. Children are taught by TV commercials that eating gobs of sugar is really a lot of fun, and parents are taught that giving sugar to children is how they show the children love.

    Politicians also routinely kiss babies, hug children, and hobnob with other, more popular and powerful politicians, to look good by association. They also love to rub elbows with the the rich, the famous, and the beautiful people, like movie stars and sports heroes, for the same reason. And of course they want to be photographed with a good selection of wise men like university professors, Nobel prize winners, and high-ranking religious leaders, to look good by association.

    Politicians will also, occasionally, associate their opponents with some villainous characters, perhaps Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, or Ghengis Khan, to make their opponents look dangerous and evil. (Sometimes the comparison is unfair, and sometimes it isn’t. It all depends.)

    The Scientology propaganda book What Is Scientology devotes 16 pages (xiv to xxix) to showing you pictures of beautiful, palatial buildings that the organization owns around the world, and the last “building” is really a large ship, the Freewinds. What do those beautiful buildings and that beautiful ship have to do with whether Scientology is a good organization, or whether it can help you with your mental problems, or with whether you should give all of your money to Scientology? Absolutely nothing. They are just trying to impress you, to make you think that Scientology is really a big, high-class outfit, not the sleazy, low, money-grubbing con that it actually is.

    A powerful association that I find in my own mind is that, ever since September 11, every time I see a photograph of an American Airlines jet, I see it crashing into a skyscraper, or blowing up as it comes out through the wall of a skyscraper. There is no skyscraper in the picture; my mind just fills it in because of those televised images that were burned into my mind on September 11. That is totally unfair to American Airlines, of course. It wasn’t their fault that some terrorists chose to hijack some of their flights. Nevertheless, American Airlines has a real problem with that association that has been planted in so many people’s minds.

    Similarly, before September 11, the public perception of firemen was something like “a bunch of adventurous young guys and overgrown boy scouts with too much testosterone, who are living out a childhood fantasy of being firemen and getting their kicks by driving big red trucks real fast.” After September 11, the image is “a bunch of heroic guys who rush into burning towers to save people, and die when the building comes down on their heads.”

    That’s the power of association.

    A corollary to association is something that I like to call “reverse association” — basking in reflected glory by honoring others (who may be totally out of your league). An easy way to accomplish that is to hand out “awards”, honoring others for something or other. An interesting example of “reverse association” is: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan received the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service from Ken Lay in November, 2001, less than three weeks before Enron filed for bankruptcy. Now I’ll guess that Greenspan wishes he had never accepted the award.13

    Guilt By Association is of course a negative association. It is like, “Senator Blowhard had lunch with Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron. Therefore Senator Blowhard is just as corrupt as them.”
    We do not really know anything about Blowhard’s integrity, just from that. He is not automatically guilty just because he associated with those guys one time.
    (But if he often associated with them, and took lots of money from them, and rode around in their jet while campaigning for office, like George W. Bush did, then that is another matter…. And if his Vice President then arranged the energy regulations so that Enron could massively rob the State of California with artificially inflated electricity prices, then that is very suspicious.)

  • The Glittering Generality
    The Glittering Generality is a kind of Association technique.

    American politicians routinely wave the American flag and praise God, country, Democracy, Freedom, Mom, and apple pie, trying to create links in people’s minds (associations) between themselves and those other positive images.

    So salt and pepper your speeches with zillions of flowery phrases and wonderful-sounding words and vague glittering generalities:

    • “God, country, Mom and apple pie”

    • “Patriotism, Freedom, Democracy, and the good old USA”

    • “safety and national security”

    • those simple home truths that some of us learned at our mother’s knee, and which many of us have forgotten and neglected — honesty, purity, unselfishness and love.”

    • “inspiration and liberty for all”

    • “the great creative sources in the Mind of God”

    • “the combined moral and spiritual forces of the nation”

    • “Christian values”

    • “The Love of Jesus”

    • “The Glory of God”

    • “The Power of the Almighty”

    • “The Will of God”

    • “family values”

    • “Freedom is on the march.”

    • “Our wonderful patriotic troops who are fighting for Freedom in Iraq”

    • “The wonderful men and women who serve in our volunteer army”

    It is really tragic how many innocent people have been murdered in the name of Freedom, Democracy, and Christian family values… (Just recently, 30,000 children in Iraq, and before that, zillions of Nicaraguans, Guatemalans and Vietnamese.)

    A common variation on The Glittering Generality is invoking images of “The Golden Age”. Imply that there was a better time way in the past — “The Good Old Days” — when everything was wonderful — “everybody was happy, everybody was kind and decent, everybody obeyed the law, everybody believed in God, the rulers were wise, just and honest, and children obeyed their parents”.

    Sometimes this Golden Age is embodied in a popular myth, like The Tales of King Arthur and Camelot, where noble knights believed in Might For Right (not “Might Makes Right”), and the brave knights spent their time rescuing fair damsels in distress. And of course, the wizards of The Olden Times, like Merlin, were much wiser and much more powerful than today’s wizards, and their magic was so much better than today’s magic… And the maidens in those days were beautiful and pure and chaste, and the knights were all honorable and chivelrous. And the king was the wisest and most noble of kings.

    Then the speaker invokes an appeal to return to the Good Old Days — “We must get Back to the Basics, and Back to Traditional Values”.

    Adolf Hitler and the Nazis actually used those terms — “Back to the Basics” and “Traditional Values” — in their propaganda, while campaigning for seats in the Reichstag, and they declared that Hitler could take Germany back to “The Golden Age” if elected. (We all know how that worked out.)

    And today, Alcoholics Anonymous leaders also run “Back to the Basics” meetings that supposedly have the good magic of the olden days.

  • Exaggerate
    You don’t blatantly lie; you just stretch the truth a good bit. This also has the advantage that even if you get caught at it, you can always argue that you were telling the truth, and it’s all a matter of degree, and people just got the wrong impression, or took it the wrong way… Mark Twain explained that expanding a story wasn’t really a lie, just a “stretcher”.

    For an example of exaggeration, this is one of the faithful followers of the cult leader Frank Buchman singing his praises, trying to make him sound like a citizen of the world:

    …he knows China like the Chinese; he is thoroughly at home in Germany, the Netherlands, India, America, Africa, and Australia.
    A. J. Russel, For Sinners Only, page 82, quoted in
    Experiment With God; Frank Buchman Reconsidered, Gösta Ekman, page 57.

    Frank Buchman probably did feel at home in Germany, because he was a native German speaker, the son of German-speaking Swiss emigrants to Pennsylvania. But it is questionable whether he was equally at home in all of those other countries that he visited for short periods of time, unless they just happened to have five-star hotels, which was really Buchman’s favorite environment. And it is absurd to say that Buchman knew China like the Chinese. Frank Buchman only spent a couple of years in China as a missionary, where his behavior was so obnoxious and offensive that the Bishop of Hankow finally ordered him to stop working in China.

    For another example of exaggeration:

    Japanese business and industry is such an incredible gargantuan efficient powerhouse that it will devour American industry, like Godzilla stomping his way through Tokyo. We’ll all end up speaking Japanese and driving Hondas. The only hope of survival that we have is to adopt Japanese styles of management, so that we can become more like them. And American workers need to learn how to be more like Japanese workers, too. They need to learn to be more loyal to their companies, and they need to accept wage cuts and roll-backs in benefits to help save their employers.

    That was actually a real argument heard very often during the seventies and eighties, when Japan was having a few good years and taking major chunks of the American consumer-electronics and automobile markets. But after that, the Japanese economy crashed badly, and stayed crashed, and it’s still a dead dog. Nobody but nobody now says that we should copy Japanese business, industry, banking, or management styles. In fact, the current pundits proclaim that the Japanese must abandon their traditional ways, dump the good-old-boy system, abandon protectionism and open up their markets, and copy American business and banking styles if they are to ever have any hope of economic recovery.

    The error was in exaggerating the degree of Japanese success in the business world, and in exaggerating the effectiveness of Japanese management and business styles. The speakers extrapolated a world-shaking economic juggernaut from a few spectacular Japanese successes in making TVs, stereos, and cars — successes that used unfair anti-competitive practices that were sponsored by the Japanese government — “Japan, Incorporated”. The speakers exaggerated those Japanese successes to the point of assuming that those successes were an unstoppable wave of the future that would go on forever, and conquer the whole planet. (And then they told the American workers that was why they must take pay cuts…)

    In Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson made heavy use of exaggeration, especially when discussing the success rate of the Twelve-Step program.

  • Confusion of Correlation and Causation
    This is simple and straight-forward: just because two things tend to happen together does not prove that one thing causes the other. The rooster’s crowing doesn’t really make the sun rise.

    Variations on this logical fallacy include:

    • Confusion of coincidence and causation

    • Confusion of association and causation

    • Confusion of correlation and causation

    • Assuming a cause-and-effect relationship between unrelated things

    Young women going to church and getting married does not really cause them to get pregnant and have babies, even though there does seem to be a strong correlation there. The real cause of the young women getting pregnant is something other than the priest or minister reciting some words…

    On Saturday morning, May 17th, 2014, National Public Radio did an interview about confusion of causation and correlation that revealed:

    • Between the years 1999 and 2009, the more movies that Nicholas Cage acted in, the more people died by falling into swimming pools.

    • The more people ate cheese, the more they died by getting tangled in their bed sheets.

    • 100% of the people who eat mashed potatoes die.

    But then the interviewee also remarked that sometimes correlations are valid, like the correlation between people smoking and getting lung cancer. That correlation got doctors busy investigating the link between smoking and cancer.

    Assuming a cause-and-effect relationship between unrelated things includes the “But it worked for me,” logical fallacy. The speaker just assumes that something worked because he got the desired result. The speaker ignores all of the other efforts that he put into making it happen. The classic example of that is an Alcoholics Anonymous member declaring that the 12 Steps worked for him because he isn’t drinking alcohol. The speaker just assumes that the Steps made him quit drinking, and he forgets that he actually quit drinking in detox before he ever went to an A.A. meeting. He also ignores the fact that what the 12 Steps really are is brainwashing and indoctrination techniques for religous conversion. The 12 Steps do not even say that you should quit drinking.

    Another false correlation: Some people who tout “spiritual healing” routinely cite studies that show that people who have positive, cheerful attitudes recover from illnesses and surgeries faster than people who have glum, dour attitudes. They then assume that this is proof of the efficacy of “spiritual healing”.

    • They overlook the obvious fact that those cheerful attitudes may well be caused by the the patients’ rapid recovery. People who are rapidly recovering are almost always much more cheerful than patients who are sick unto death and dying.

    • And they overlook the fact that those two factors may correlate — they may happen together: Rapid recovery causes cheerful moods, which cause more rapid healing, which causes more cheerfulness, and so on… Just the act of relaxing and being cheerful increases blood flow through the body, which promotes healing and improves the functioning of the immune system. That is simple medicine, not “the power of spiritual healing”.

    • They also ignore the fact that any apparent link between recovery and something else, anything else, may be pure coincidence. In any large group of sick people, some will recover and some won’t. There isn’t necessarily any link between “spiritual attitudes” and people recovering, but the people who wish to believe there is will concentrate their attention on just the recovering “spiritual” people, and ignore everything else. That, in turn, becomes an example of “observational selection“, seeing what you want to see, and ignoring the rest.

    • And when the investigator has an agenda — a desired outcome — he can be also be fooled by observational bias as well — just tending to see what he wishes to see. The measure of which patients are cheerful, and how cheerful, is a subjective measurement — it relies entirely on the judgement of the investigator. It is all too easy to rate the recovering patients as very cheerful and the non-recovering patients as very glum when that is what the investigator wishes to see.

    Alcoholics Anonymous has plenty of examples of confusion of causation and correlation, or confusion of coincidence with causation. The most obvious ones are:

    • Assuming that attending A.A. meetings makes people quit drinking.

    • Assuming that attending A.A. meetings makes people stay sober.

    • Assuming that doing the Twelve Steps makes people quit drinking and stay sober.

    • Assuming that many years of membership in A.A. causes people to stay sober.

    • Assuming that praying makes people quit drinking and stay sober.

    • Assuming that doing the Twelve Steps makes people more “spiritual”, or more moral.

      (And of course, that last item will be loaded with observational bias. Who judges? How do you impartially judge just how much more “spiritual” somebody is after doing the Twelve Steps for three or six months? And how do you impartially distinguish between “spirituality” and superstition? How do you distinguish between real spirituality and crazy self-delusion like, Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems.”)

    Just because some people sit in an A.A. meeting room and talk about God and not drinking does not prove that A.A. made them quit drinking, even if they believe it. Nor does it prove that A.A. is keeping them sober.

    Using the goofy A.A. “cause and effect” illogic, we can happily declare that A.A. is totally unnecessary because mothers are the real cause of sobriety. How can we know that? Simple. Show me an alcoholic whose mother didn’t tell him to quit drinking so much. Momma tells him to quit drinking, and then he finally does, so mothers are the real cause of sobriety. A.A. is irrelevant and unneeded.

    What really happens is: A lot of people quit drinking in order to stop being sick, and a lot of them get pressured or coerced into attending some A.A. meetings, and then a few of them become obsessed with cult religions like the Moonies or Scientology or Alcoholics Anonymous, and their favorite cult convinces them that they are sober because of the cult — that the cult saved their lives — that involvement with the cult is keeping them sober — so they become committed to the cult and make it their new lifestyle for a while. They confuse coincidence with causation. But, eventually, most of those people wise up and realize that it’s all a pack of lies, and quit the cult. In Alcoholics Anonymous, for example, 95% of the newcomers drop out in the first year alone, and, nevertheless, a bit more than half of all alcoholics find lasting sobriety anyway.

     

    And it’s easy to see causation where there is simply no evidence to support such an assumption. Often, just wishful thinking is enough to make people see cause-and-effect relationships:

    “And… I believe addictions are also caused by a sense of spiritual separation from God, or one’s Higher Power, or union with the All-That-Is.”
    Addiction: A Spiritual Crisis, Judith Wagner, Tampa Bay New Times, Winter 1991, page 18.

    And that belief was based on what facts or observations? Did the authoress actually do even just one good survey of a few hundred addicts, asking them what they believed and how separated from “Higher Power” they felt?

     

    A common use of this propaganda technique of confusion of causation and correlation is to do polls or surveys of A.A. members, asking them about their drinking habits, and then “discover” that they drink less than some other group of people, perhaps a group of guys at the local bar, or the winos under the bridge. Then the “researcher” declares that there is “an association between AA attendance and abstinence from alcohol/drug use”, and he concludes that

    “Weekly or more frequent attendance at 12-Step programs may be effective in maintaining long-term drug and alcohol abstinence. Treatment providers should encourage and assist their clients in 12-Step participation.”
    “12-Step programs help maintain abstinence”, R Fiorentine, The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application, Sept 1999, v18 i9 p1

    What the “researcher” won’t tell you is that if you repeat that kind of study, comparing the people found at the local Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor to the guys at the local bar, you can, in just the same way, “prove” that eating ice cream reduces alcohol consumption.

     

    The logical conclusion is, of course:

    “Weekly or more frequent attendance at Baskin Robbins may be effective in maintaining long-term drug and alcohol abstinence. Treatment providers should encourage and assist their clients in Baskin Robbins ice cream socials participation.”

     

    Also note the use of the propaganda technique called “Sly Suggestions” in that quote. In the first sentence, the author Robert Fiorentine suggested that A.A. may be effective. He could only suggest the idea, because he knew full well that the data did not show any cause-and-effect relationship. But in the next sentence, the author suddenly assumed that his suggestion was true, and he stated that treatment providers should shove patients into Alcoholics Anonymous groups.

    And lastly, note how the author completely ignored the fact that the people at the A.A. meeting were a self-selected group (a biased sample). That is:
    The people who wanted to stay sober went to the A.A. meetings.
    The people who wanted to get drunk went to the bar.
    So of course the people at the A.A. meetings drank less than the people at the bar. That comes as no surprise. But that 
    does notprove that A.A. is somehow causing the “meeting makers” to abstain from drinking. It doesn’t even “suggest” it. The author did a reversal of a cause-and-effect relationship, because the truth is just the opposite:

    People’s desire to stay sober makes them go to A.A. meetings.

    They go because they have been miseducated and fooled into believing that A.A. is somehow necessary or “helpful for maintaining sobriety”.

     

    To be fair, what the author of that “study” really did was conduct interviews with the patients and ex-patients of 26 Los Angeles area “treatment programs” (almost all of which were based on “Twelve Step Facilitation” — ‘TSF’11), and compare those who were still attending A.A. meetings with those who were not. He found that those who attended the meetings drank less and took fewer drugs. That should come as no surprise, because, by and large, only those people who had not relapsed were still attending A.A. meetings. Many of the relapsers really were to be found at the local bars. People stopped going to A.A. meetings when they resumed their former alcohol or drug habits. Hence Fiorentine used a very biased sample. His claimed results were just another example of Lying With Statistics, as well asObservational Selection — i.e.: ‘Cherry-Picking’.

    And, alas, we were never told what the success rate of those 26 Los Angeles area treatment programs really was. (They almost never tell the truth about that.) Those so-called “treatment programs” usually have about a 90% failure rate, so the remaining 10% of the patients who were still moderately clean and sober (clean and sober enough to “graduate”) were the people who really wanted to stay clean and sober.

     

    The so-called “treatment programs” are really just a system for filtering out those few alcoholics and addicts who are ready and willing to quit drinking and doping now — and then the treatment center and A.A./N.A. will take the credit for the successes when they quit, but will refuse to take any of the blame for the other 90% of the “clients” who don’t “graduate”.

    That stunt is pure Observational Selection — counting the hits and forgetting the misses.

     

    And it’s backwards logic to try to conclude that the A.A. meetings *make* the few abstainers stay clean and sober. Fiorentine reversed the cause-and-effect relationship. The truth is:
          People’s sobriety causes a few of the clean and sober people to go to A.A. meetings.
    People’s choice to consume drugs and alcohol causes them to not go to A.A. meetings. They go to the meetings at the local dope dealer’s house instead.

     

    That is not a joke or an idle suggestion. In her 1988 book that promoted Alcoholics Anonymous, Nan Robertson reported that most of the newcomers to A.A. had already quit drinking, so it really is sobriety that causes people to go to A.A. meetings:

    About 60 percent of all newcomers — some still drinking at first, most not — who go to A.A. meetings for up to a year remain in A.A.
    Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, Nan Robertson, 1988, page 94.

    (You can ignore the funny word game where Nan Robertson declares that most of the people who stay in A.A. “for up to a year” stay in A.A. for a while longer. Actually, only five percent of the newcomers stay in A.A. for a year.)

     

    Another way to say it is:
          People’s desire to stay clean and sober causes some of them to go to 12-Step meetings.
    People’s desire to get stoned causes them to go to the dope dealer or the liquor store.

    So of course the people whom you find at the 12-Step meetings will be a bit less drunk and stoned than those whom you find at the bar or at the dope dealer’s house. (Even though 22% of the treatment programs’ ex-clients who were going to the A.A. and N.A. meetings were actually still using drugs or alcohol. See the 2nd quote down.)

    In another write-up of Fiorentine’s Los Angeles study, we also got this misinformation:

          Looking at 262 patients in 26 Los Angeles addiction treatment programs, the researchers found that clients who attended at least one 12 Step meeting per week after completing treatment had much lower levels of drug use at six-month follow-up (22% were using), than those who participated less frequently or not at all (44% were using). Statistical analysis led Fiorentine to conclude that the better rates of abstinence “could not be attributed to differences in motivation or to other post-treatment activities”. Regular 12 Step attendance made the difference, prompting the conclusion that 12 Step meetings work well as “a useful and inexpensive aftercare resource that can help many patients to maintain abstinence”.
    “12 STEP POWER SHOWN BY SCIENTIFIC METHOD”, By: Voyles, Claudia, Guidepoints: Acupuncture in Recovery, 10708200, March 2000, page 5,
    which cites: R Fiorentine, in NIDA Notes, v. 14, No 5, December 1999.

    Fiorentine’s conclusions are totally unwarranted and are based solely on his assumption of a desired cause and effect relationship between going to meetings and sobriety, not the facts.

    That is, he just wishes that A.A. or N.A. meetings really worked. His “statistical analysis” is worthless because he assumes that the numbers show that 12-Step meetings cause abstinence, rather than that the desire to be sober and unaddicted causes meeting attendance. Fiorentine confuses correlation with cause and effect.

    And it was really outrageous to claim that “the scientific method” had proved the effectiveness of 12-Step meetings. Claudia Voyles titled her article:
          “12 STEP POWER SHOWN BY SCIENTIFIC METHOD”.
    There is no truth to that statement. None whatsoever. That was not a valid scientific test. There was no “scientific method” in any of Fiorentine’s deceptive propaganda. There was no control group with which to compare the Twelve-Step Facilitation groups, to see what effect the so-called “treatment” and the 12-Step meetings actually had — to see whether the “treatment” really improved on Mother Nature.

     

    The proper way to do such a medical study or scientific experiment is a “Longitudinal Controlled Study”. How you do that is get, say, 200 or 2000 convicted drunk drivers or other alcoholics from a traffic court or a hospital, all of whom have been determined to be alcohol abusers by a doctor or competent therapist, and then divide them, randomly, into two equal groups. Send the first group to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and do nothing with the second group. Let them go home. Let them drink all they want. They are “the control group”. Give them no “treatment” or punishment of any kind.
    (It’s fair. Getting no treatment — being a guinea pig in a scientific experiment — IS their punishment.)

    In order for any “treatment” or program to claim success, it must do significantly better than the control group.

    At the end of the test, at 6 months or a year or two later, count and measure all of them, to see how many are still drinking destructively. Compare the A.A. group to the no-treatment group, to see what the effect of A.A. really was.

    Every time that experiment has been done, the results were that A.A. didn’t work at all, and had no good long-term effects. In fact, the A.A.-treated group did worse than the no-treatment group, and A.A. had an appalling death rate, too.

     

    Likewise, the statement that
          “Regular 12 Step attendance made the difference, prompting the conclusion that 12 Step meetings work well…”
    is groundless and untrue. Fiorentine merely assumed that 12-Step meetings made a difference. The evidence does not support that conclusion.

    Nevertheless, the citation for Fiorentine’s article says:

    “A recent study confirms that weekly participation in 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), help people in recovery to maintain their abstinence for up to two years after completing substance abuse treatment.”
    “12-Step programs help maintain abstinence”, R Fiorentine, The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application, Sept 1999, v18 i9 p1

    Note the word game where it says that 12-Step meetings “help” people maintain abstinence. They imply cause-and-effect, but don’t say it outright, because they can’t. There is simply no evidence of any cause-and-effect relationship between going to 12-Step meetings and abstaining from alcohol and drugs.

    We also got a demonstration of the propaganda technique called “Lying With Qualifiers” there. It said that A.A. meetings “helped” people to “maintain their abstinence for up to two years”Up to two years? So does that mean that lots of the “meeting makers” relapsed at the one month point, and more at two months, and more at three, and more at six, etc.? And the very last clean and sober hold-out relapsed at the two-year point? Yes, unfortunately, that must be what it really means, because that’s what really happens.

     

  • The Fallacy of a Single Cause.
    Claim that a result came from a single cause, when it was really caused by a whole lot of different things.

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses this fallacy often. If someone quits drinking for half a dozen different reasons, like to save his life, career, job, marriage, money and health, A.A. claims that he quit drinking because he attended some A.A. meetings. Or because of the 12 Steps (which he may not have even done).

  • Reverse a Cause-and-Effect Relationship
    Declare that ‘B’ caused ‘A’, when in fact ‘A’ caused ‘B’.

    A recent article in the British newspaper Telegraph gave us an illustration of this logical error:

     

    Intelligent humans evolved because of big-hipped ancestors
    Intelligent humans developed because our female ancestors had wide hips which allowed them to give birth to babies with big brains, according to new research.

    By Nick Allen
    Last Updated: 9:13PM GMT 13 Nov 2008

    The hips of females from the species Homo erectus, a primitive relative of modern humans, have been found to be wider than was previously thought.

    That means they were well equipped for delivering babies with a larger cranial capacity which ultimately allowed intelligent human beings to evolve.

    Scientists came to their conclusion after reconstructing a 1.2 million-year-old fossil pelvis discovered in Gona, Ethiopia.

    A narrow pelvis for females would have caused infants to be born with relatively small brains.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/3453980/Intelligent-humans-evolved-because-of-big-hipped-ancestors.html

     

    That is the exact opposite of the truth. The reality is:

    • Pre-human ape-men evolved larger brains and higher intelligence in order to survive. The stupid ones either starved or got eaten by lions and tigers, leaving the smarter ones, with bigger brains, to reproduce. (Hint: the ones who were intelligent enough to use clubs, tomahawks, and spears to defend themselves from the predators lived a lot longer. And having the brains to build a fire was a life-saver in cold winters.) So gradually, human intelligence and human brains both increased in size.

    • Then, the females with wider hips were able to deliver such larger-headed babies without complications, while the narrowest-hipped females died in childbirth.

    • The wider-hipped females gave birth to more wider-hipped daughters, and the process repeated itself, with the narrowest-hipped females continuing to die in childbirth, and the wider-hipped ones surviving.

    • Carry that process forwards a million years, and you will get a population where all of the females have wide hips.

    Later in the article, the author finally got his logic straightened out:

    The need to give birth to large brained infants was probably the primary driver behind the shape of the pelvis.

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses this logical error constantly:

    • They routinely infer that A.A. meeting attendance causes sobriety, rather than that the desire for sobriety causes some people to attend some A.A. meetings. (The same desire for sobriety also causes people to quit drinking alcohol.)

    • A.A. infers that doing the 12 Steps causes people to quit drinking, rather than that quitting drinking causes some people to do the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most of the A.A. members who are actually continously sober really quit drinking before they did the 12 Steps — and often, they quit drinking before they even attended very many A.A. meetings. (Many alcoholics quit drinking in a detox center, which then sends them to A.A. meetings, and then A.A. takes the credit for the sobriety.)

    • Again, the desire for sobriety causes some people to waste their time practicing some useless “steps” of an old cult religion. The 12 Steps do not cause people to desire sobriety.

  • Straw Man
    The Straw Man technique is a stunt where you prop up an easy-to-defeat opponent, like a Straw Man, and then attack him and knock him down, to make yourself look big, strong, and victorious.

    For example, politicians and District Attorney candidates running for election brag that they will “prosecute sexual predators to the full extent of the law.” But that is what all of the politicians do. Nobody likes sexual predators. They don’t get any easy treatment. It isn’t like the other candidate is “soft on sexual predators”.

    Similarly, you can attack a caricature of what the other person said, rather than arguing against what he actually said.

    A popular variation of the Straw Man technique is the “What if?” argument. Just prop up absurd hypothetical situations that never really happened and then demolish them.

     

    During the March 23, 2006 press conference, Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei asked, “A growing number of Americans are questioning the trustworthiness of you and this White House. Does that concern you?”

    Bush just wouldn’t say. “I believe that my job is to go out and explain to people what’s on my mind,” he replied, launching himself on a rambling discourse on war followed by a straw-man attack on unnamed people who don’t take al Qaeda seriously.
    By Dan Froomkin
    Special to washingtonpost.com
    White House Briefing, News Between the Lines
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006; 1:00 PM

     

    Nan Robertson used a flavor of the Straw Man trick in her book Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous. While arguing for the disease theory of alcoholism, she propped up a few reasons why alcoholism should not be called a disease and then knocked them down, and then felt that she had made her point:

    • Moral and social objections: “How can the habit of opening ones mouth and pouring alcohol down one’s throat be called a disease?”

    • Objections that the disease concept interferes with recovery — it provides patients with a ready-made excuse: “Don’t blame me, I’m sick”.

    • Political and social objections — If alcoholism is a disease, it should be treated by doctors, not amateurs.
      (See Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, Nan Robertson, pages 196-197.)

    Nan Robertson dismissed all of those arguments with a paragraph each, and then concluded that alcoholism was a disease.

    • All that Nan Robertson did was dispute some other people’s objections to calling alcoholism a disease.

    • She did not prove that alcoholism was a disease, or even produce any good evidence that there is any such disease as alcoholism.

    • What Nan Robertson missed in her broken logic is the simple fact that, even if it was okay, in Nan Robertson’s mind, for alcoholism to be called a disease, that still did not make it an actual disease.
      It’s just like: Even if it is okay, in the minds of some superstitious people, for the world to be called “flat”, that still does not make the world really flat.

    Another example: From the “Big Book” Alcoholics Anonymous, we learn that Bill Wilson was only able to convert brain-damaged morons and pathetic cry-babies to the new Alcoholics Anonymous religion. Wilson used the straw-man tactic constantly, portraying non-believers and the unconverted as the most pathetic self-pitying stupid prejudiced fools who were unable to see the truth until the brilliant, wonderful Bill Wilson came along and saved them from their stupidity. This quote is from the “Man On The Bed” story in the Big Book, where Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were allegedly recruiting for A.A. in the hospital:

    Actually, they were really recruiting for Frank Buchman’s pro-Nazi Oxford Group cult at that time. There was no such thing as Alcoholics Anonymous in the spring of 1935, only Frank’s fascist Oxford Group cult religion, and that is what Bill and Dr. Bob were recruiting new alcoholic members for.

    Two days later, a future fellow of Alcoholics Anonymous stared glassily at the strangers beside his bed. “Who are you fellows, and why this private room? I was always in a ward before.”
    Said one of the visitors, “We’re giving you a treatment for alcoholism.”
    Hopelessness was written large on the man’s face as he replied, “Oh, but that’s no use. Nothing would fix me. I’m a goner. The last three times, I got drunk on the way home from here. I’m afraid to go out the door. I can’t understand it.”
    The A.A. Big BookAlcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, Chapter 11, “A Vision For You”, page 157.

    (The answer, you blithering idiot, is that you are getting drunk because you are stopping off at the bar on the way home from the hospital, and drinking more alcohol. It’s very easy to understand.)

     

    Bill Wilson, converting a fawning moron.”

    Bill Wilson posing for a staged “Man On The Bed” publicity photograph, where Bill allegedly performed miraculous faith healings, making the drunks “pick up their beds and walk”, just like in the story of Jesus healing the cripple by the pool.
    Notice the cross on the wall. This photograph was very carefully staged for best effect.

     

    For another good example of the straw man tactic, consider this quote:

    A Peek Into Twenty-First-Century Medicine

    The healing power of the spirit, exemplified by the success of the Twelve Steps program in helping overcome a variety of addictions, will be harnessed more fully to treat a wider range of medical problems.

    Lawyers boast that when their professional forebears were writing the Constitution and organizing the Supreme Court, doctors were still bleeding patients to remove ill humors and using leeches as medical apparatus.

    As medicine moved out of its primitive beginnings and joined the revolution in science, it is easy to understand why the spiritual dimension of healing was absent from serious discussion. Spirituality, with its nebulous connotation, sounded too much like the folk traditions of another era and did not have the clarity of the surgeon’s knife or the pharmacist’s pill. Today, however, it is only because medicine is on a firm scientific basis that the spiritual dimension of healing can be fairly evaluated. Although modern medicine has been slow to take up the challenge, this healing factor is now too obvious to ignore.

    The field of medicine is still in its infancy in understanding the spiritual dimension of healing. But it is clear that the power of the mind and the spirit to overcome both chronic and acute medical problems is real. In the twenty-first century, this healing force can be harnessed more fully and effectively through scientific persistence and spiritual growth within the discipline of medicine.
    The Spiritual Dimension of Healing, Jeff Jay, The World & I, 05-01-2000, Size: 8K.
    Available on the Internet through your public library’s Electronic Library of periodicals.

    The author has a bone to pick with modern doctors. He is angry with them because they won’t agree with his ideas of “spiritual healing.” So he declares, essentially:

    The reason that modern medicine refuses to approve of “spiritual medicine”, faith healing, and magical “Twelve-Step therapy” is because contemporary doctors are still just as blind, stupid, and slow to learn as they were 200 years ago, and they have still hardly gotten beyond using leeches and blood-letting.

    That is quite untrue, of course. Modern medicine is very good, and is far beyond stupidly using voodoo medicine, which is what the author of that quote wants to shove on us.

    The author recites the faults of ancient medical practice in order to make current medical practice look bad, because he can’t fault contemporary doctors. If you can’t attack today’s doctors as stupid, then attack the ones who lived 225 years ago. They are easy to criticize and ridicule and knock down. That’s the Straw Man tactic.

    And the author lies and grossly distorts the facts as well: People studied and tried faith healing and spiritual medicine for thousands of years. It was all they had, so they really wished that it would work. It took us a very long time before we finally learned some things that actually work properly, and what actually works is penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline, not occult incantations, prayers, chants, charms, voodoo dolls, magic spells, or sacrificing your first-born son on the alter to appease an angry God.

    And the author also misuses the word “spiritual”. Bill Wilson constantly confused psychological, emotional, and spiritual things, and so does this faithful follower of his. (Bill made grand, sweeping proclamations like that all forms of “spiritual diseases” were caused by “resentments” — the Big Book, page 64.) What isn’t obvious from the quote above (see the larger review) is that the author would talk about things like how people having a positive mental attitude towards their recovery from illness coincided with people rapidly healing what ailed them, and then the author would call that “spiritual healing.” That isn’t spiritual healing; that’s just psychology. That’s just having a good mind-set — a positive and cheerful attitude. And that positive attitude was often caused by the patient’s rapid recovery, rather than the rapid recovery being caused by the positive attitude… That is “Confusion of Correlation and Causation” again.

    And last but not least, the author also gave a good demonstration of the Big Lie technique. That quote is just loaded with Big Lies:

    1. “‘The healing power of the spirit’ is an established fact.”

    2. Everybody knows that spiritual healing works.”

    3. “The spiritual dimension of healing is an established fact.”

    4. “The power of the mind and the spirit to overcome both chronic and acute medical problems is real.”

    5. The success of ‘the Twelve Steps program’ in helping people to overcome a variety of addictions is an established fact.”

    6. “Alcoholics Anonymous successfully practices spiritual healing.”

    7. “Modern medicine is an infant, just barely out of the realm of blood-letting and leaches.”

    8. “Modern medicine was slow to move out of its primitive beginnings and join the revolution in science.” (Not, that it was the revolution.)

    9. “‘Spiritual healing’ has never been properly studied.”

    10. “The spiritual dimension of healing was absent from serious discussion.”

    11. “Modern medicine has been slow to take up the challenge of studying faith healing and ‘spiritual healing’.”

    12. “The spiritual dimension of healing is a healing factor that is now too obvious to ignore.”

    13. “The field of medicine is still in its infancy in understanding the spiritual dimension of healing.”

    14. And, by implication, “Sometime in the future, modern medicine will finally get smart enough to discover spiritual medicine and learn how to use it.”

    All of which are lies.

     

    For just one example of modern medicine embracing “spiritual healing,” consider that ‘Native American’ or Original American people can and do have their own spiritual healing ceremonies performed for them in hospitals. They get both the medicine man and Western-medicine doctor working on them, simultaneously. (I was tempted to write “white-man doctor”, but these days, the ‘Western-medicine’ doctor is likely to be Jordanian, Pakistani, or Indian — India Indian.)

     

    Another, much less positive, example of so-called “spiritual healing” is this: Here in Portland Oregon there is a fundamentalist sect of people who call themselves “The Church of the Followers of Christ”. They do not believe in doctors or medicine. They only believe in prayer and “spiritual healing”. When one of their children gets sick, they pray over the child, and they absolutely will not take the sick child to a doctor or a hospital. If the child dies, he dies. They declare that it must be the Will of God. Every few years, they kill another child that way.

    Just recently, in May 2010, the parents of one of their dead children were tried for manslaughter, and convicted. The father got two years in prison. The mother got off with probation so that she could care for the surviving children. And then, just a few months later, that crazy congregation killed another child the same way. So now those parents are being charged with manslaughter. This has been going on for many years.

    The big flaw in their logic is that they are actually so arrogant and delusional that they think they are powerful magicians. They imagine that their prayers are working magical ceremonies. They think that they can summon spiritual powers and magical forces just by incanting some holy names like “God” and “Jesus Christ”. That is actually no different from a sourcerer who imagines that he can get magical powers by summoning up demons by name.

    Obviously, their magic is not working very well. (Although they believe that it is: most of the time, the children do recover while being prayed for. Their children’s recovery rate from childhood diseases and the common cold is especially good.)

     

     

  • Hypnotic Bait and Switch
    Observe the broken flow of logic between these two paragraphs:

          This world of ours has made more material progress in the last century than in all the millenniums which went before. Almost everyone knows the reason. Students of ancient history tell us that the intellect of men in those days was equal to the best of today. Yet in ancient times material progress was painfully slow. The spirit of modern scientific inquiry, research and invention was almost unknown. In the realm of the material, men’s minds were fettered by superstition, tradition, and all sorts of fixed ideas. Some of the contemporaries of Columbus thought a round earth preposterous. Others came near putting Galileo to death for his astronomical heresies.
    We asked ourselves this: Are not some of us just as biased and unreasonable about the realm of the spirit as were the ancients about the realm of the material?
    (The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 51.)

    All of the statements before the last one are true and unchallengeable. The listener will be lulled into uncritically accepting more statements, expecting them to also be unquestionably true. That is when the speaker (Bill Wilson) suddenly slips a lie into the speech. The last sentence is an irrational appeal to embrace the very evils, the narrow-minded blind faith, the superstitious “spirituality” and “the realm of the spirit” that the previous sentences had so properly criticized.

    Bait and switch.

    And it’s also a gross distortion of the facts — a False Analysis Of History — to say that “the ancients” were “biased and unreasonable” about the “realm of the material.” They weren’t. The medieval Roman Catholic Church authorities were far more “biased and unreasonable” about the “realm of the spirit.” They would not tolerate any “spiritual”, religious, or philosophical ideas that were different from their own. They asserted that they and the Bible had all of the true answers about everything in the world, and anyone who disagreed with them the least little bit was evil and doing the work of the Devil and trying to lead people to Hell. Their inquisitions ran for centuries, and killed a lot of people. One of the commonest reasons for a death sentence and burning at the stake was “heresy”.1 The Church burned Bruno at the stake for declaring that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

  • The Either/Or Technique — Bifurcation — the Excluded Middle
    Present the audience with only extreme either/or, black-or-white choices, while admitting to no gray areas inbetween. Consider only the two extremes in a range of possibilities, to make the “other side” look worse than it really is. Carl Sagan called this the “excluded middle” technique.

    The Excluded Middle technique also includes:

    • Short-term versus long-term comparison — a subset of the excluded middle —

      • “why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?”.

      • “Why should we believe predictions of global warming when they can’t predict the weather two weeks in advance?”

    • Slippery slope — another subset of the excluded middle — make unwarranted extrapolations of the effects of a course of action, like: “give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile.”

    For example:

    • “If you’re not one of us, you’re one of them.”
      This is called “the sheep and goat distinction”.

    • “If you aren’t a dirty, lying Communist, then of course you agree with us, and you will be happy to join our John Birch Society (or the KKK, or the Nazi party, etc.)…”

    • “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]

    • “Those who are not with us are against us.” [Comrade Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russia, 1917]

    • “You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.”

    • “Either you are Serving the Lord (as our church defines it) or you are serving the Forces of Evil.”

    • “Either you are a fanatical true believer like us, or you are an evil hard-boiled atheist.”

    • “Either you are saved by Christ or you are doomed to suffer the pains of Hell.”

    • “You guys must either you act like stupid brutish Neanderthals, or else you will look like you are gay and effeminate.”

    • “Either you are willing to commit your entire life to our great cause or else you are a wimp, a weak hand, and a real loser.”

    • “Look. You’re on board, or you’re not on board. Okay. But just, if you’re on board, then you’re on board just like the rest of us. Period.” — Tom Cruise, talking about membership in Scientology.

    •  

      This Nazi propaganda poster from World War II used the Either/Or technique along with a lot of Glittering Generalities. It says:

      In the Red War,
      Mother or [Communist] “Comrade”?
      People or Machines?
      God or Devil?
      Blood or Gold?
      Race [Racial Purity] or Crossbreed [Mixed-race children]?
      Folk Songs or Jazz?
      National Socialism [Naziism] or Bolshevism?

       

    • The Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament cult leader Frank Buchman said:

      “an extreme of evil must be met with an extreme of good. A fanatical following of evil by a passionate pursuit of good. Only a passion can cure a passion. And only a superior world-arching ideology can cure a world divided by warring ideologies.”   …
      “Whenever men give man the place in their lives that God should have, slavery has begun. ‘Men must choose to be governed by God, or they condemn themselves to be ruled by tyrants.’ There can be no neutrality in the battle between good and evil.”
      Dr. Frank N.D. Buchman, the leader of the Oxford Groups—Moral Re-Armament cult, in a speech, “Brave Men Choose”, given June 4, 1961, at Caux, Switzerland, quoted in Frank Buchman’s Secret, by Peter Howard, page 141.

      What Frank Buchman didn’t bother to say there is that those who “chose to be governed by God” were really supposed to be governed by Frank and his lieutenants. The Buchmanites claimed that they, and only they, knew what God really wanted people to do. They, and only they, were “sane” and “Guided by God”, Frank said, and everybody else was “insane”. So, if you were “Guided by God”, then you would do what Frank told you to do… (Frank Buchman was really a fascist.)

    • Buchman also said,

      “There are only two fronts in the world — the positive front and the negative front, those who obey God and those who refuse to obey Him.”
      Dynamic Out Of Silence; Frank Buchman’s relevance today, Theophil Spoerri, page 117.

      But “obeying God” really ended up meaning that you were supposed to obey Frank and his followers. That’s the logical fallacy of Conflation, False Equality.

    • In 1943, Frank Buchman declared:

      “Unless America recovers her rightful ideology nothing but chaos awaits us. Our destiny is to obey the guidance of God.
      The true battle-line in the world today is not between class and class, not between race and race. The battle is between Christ and anti-Christ.
      ‘Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.'”
      Frank Buchman As I Knew Him, H. W. ‘Bunny’ Austin, page 110.

      Nevertheless, America somehow managed to win World War II without choosing to join Frank Buchman’s cult.

    • Peter Howard, the fascist who succeeded Frank Buchman as the leader of Moral Re-Armament, wrote:

      The choice is moral re-armament or national decay.   …
      It is a choice that all of us must make. Christ or anti-Christ, spirit or beast, renaissance or decadence, moral re-armament or a godless, hopeless, purposeless age.
      Britain and the Beast, Peter Howard, pages 110 and 118-119.

      “Christ or anti-Christ”… That doesn’t leave much room in the middle, does it?

    • “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
      Acting President G. W. Bush has repeatedly declared that the world was either “with us or against us” in his war on terrorism that he launched after the September 11 attacks.
      Note that George Bush didn’t give the rest of the world any choice in the means, strategies, or tactics that they may choose to use in their wars against terrorism (which some of them have been fighting for many years). Everybody was supposed to just follow Bush’s orders and attack Iraq or else they weren’t “with us”.

    • Likewise, our Fearless Leader said of his war against Iraq:
      This will not be a campaign of half measures.
      G. W. Bush, 21 March 2003.

    • And Bush creates a false choice with this statement:
      “When it comes to a choice between defending America or believing the words of a madman, I will always defend America.”
      G. W. Bush, July 2004.

      Who was the madman?

      • Hans Blick (the United Nations weapons inspector) when he said that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?

      • The 9-11 Commission when it declared that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9-11 terrorist attack?

    • Enron came up with a great choice for its some of its employees:
      “Either help us to cook the books so that the CEO Jeffrey Skilling gets the numbers that he wants, or else you are a coward who doesn’t have the guts to play with the Big Boys, and you aren’t a team player.”

    Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous give us many more examples of the either/or technique:

    • “Either you will totally abstain from drinking alcohol for the rest of your life, or else you will drink maniacally, consuming such huge amounts that you will die drunk in a gutter.”

    • “Either totally abstain from all drugs, even the ones the doctor gives you, or else you will be shoving a needle in your arm next week.”

    • “Either totally abstain from all medications, even the ones the doctor gives you, or your recovery isn’t complete — you aren’t really sober. Meds still the small quiet voice of God.”

    • ‘Either you are a true believer or else you are an atheist’: According to Bill Wilson, if you won’t completely accept all of his dogmatic religious beliefs, then you must be a disgusting agnostic or an atheist. No middle ground or independent thinking is allowed — it’s literally all or nothing:

      “When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?”
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, We Agnostics, Page 53.

    • “It’s Alcoholics Anonymous — or else!”     (A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 378.)

    • “God has either removed your husband’s liquor problem or He has not.”     (A.A. Big Book, 3rd & 4th Edition, page 120.)

    • Bill Wilson says that alcoholics must practice the A.A. religion or else they will die:

      “To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.”
      The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 44.

      Actually, they are not alternatives at all. There is a third choice: just quit drinking, and live a healthy, happy, and sane life without a cult religion.

    • “Either you are dealing with a man who can and will get well or you are not. If not, why waste time with him?”
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, Henry Parkhurst, Chapter 10, To Employers, page 142.

    • “None of us in Alcoholics Anonymous is normal. Our abnormality compels us to go to AA… We all go because we need to. Because the alternative is drastic, either A.A. or death.”
      Delirium Tremens, Stories of Suffering and Transcendence, Ignacio Solares, Hazelden, 2000, page 27.

    • “Either work a strong program or else your fate will be jails, institutions, or death.” (Popular A.A. slogan.)

    • “Work the Steps or Die!” — (Popular A.A. slogan.)

    • “Even if you abstain from drinking alcohol, you must still practice Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps all of the time, or else you will turn into a dry drunk, a person who acts just like an obnoxious drunkard even when sober.”

    • “You must be willing to go to any lengths to recover from alcoholism”, or else “you aren’t really trying.”
      (A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, pages 58 and XX.)

    • Bill Wilson said of alcoholics:
      “Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend on them for far too much.”
      “Either we … tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we … insisted on being overdependent on them.”
      (Not-God, Ernest Kurtz, page 125.)

    • A.A. defenders say, “You can’t criticize our program unless you have a perfect, fool-proof, never-fails program of your own to offer as an alternative.”
      Translation: “Either show us a perfect program of your own design, or else accept our goofy program.”

    • A.A. promoters ask,

      “Which would you rather get treatment and advice from — your old drinking buddies, or AA members?”
      (For me, the answer is, “Neither.” Try finding someone who is sane and reasonable and who knows what he is talking about, like a doctor who is good at treating addictions.)

    • And even people who are trying to be objective can get caught in traps:

      “Either addiction is a disease and addicts are powerless over their addictions, or else addiction is a choice and addicts can stop any time they want to.”

      Such an argument ignores the middle possibility: that physical addiction to a chemical really messes with the addict’s mind and makes quitting extremely difficult (but not impossible). Sometimes, it is true that an addict can quit any time he wants to — he just cannot “want to” intensely enough to overcome the urges, the cravings, the crazyness, and the pain that inevitably accompanies withdrawal. (That is, he can’t “want to enough” until something extreme happens to motivate him, like getting sick unto death, nearly dying, or seeing a friend die. Then that can be the stimulus that provides the motivation to finally quit and stay quit.)

  • False Dichotomy

    The False Dichotomy technique is very similar to the Either/Or technique. A dichotomy is the division of something into two pieces. A false dichotomy is an attempt to divide something with a false dividing line, like:

    • You can have either quantity, or quality, but not both.

    • Some people vote for God, and some people vote Democratic.

    • Some people support the troops, while others want to end the war.

    • Some people support President Bush, while others are not so patriotic.

    • Unwanted fertilized human eggs should be adopted, not used for stem cell research.

      {That statement implies that it is an either/or choice, and ignores the fact that there are 400,000 unwanted embryos in freezers around the U.S.A., extras left over from in vitro fertization procedures, and very, very, very few of them will ever get adopted and become “Snowflake Babies”. So far, only 81 of them have ever been adopted. There really are not a lot of women around who are begging the doctors to shove somebody else’s fertilized egg into their wombs. There are more than enough unwanted frozen embryos to go around, and the sad truth is that almost all of those embryos will end up getting flushed down the drain after they have sat in the freezer for too long. They get freezer burn too, you know.}

    Variations on False Dichotomy include:

    • False Dilemma: The choice presented is only A or B. Rejecting A is selecting B.

    • Bifurcation

    • Either/Or: Reduce reality to, “Either this is true, or that is true.”

    • The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

    • Hobson’s Choice

    • Alternative Advance

    Another very common false dichotomy is: “Do you believe in God or evolution?” 
    But if you believe that evolution was God’s method of creating us, then there is no conflict between science and religion. Yes there is a God, and yes, evolution is true.

    The only conflict is between modern observations of reality and the superstitions of some ill-educated Israeli goat-herders who happened to live in the Sinai Desert 4000 years ago. But what did they know? They thought that the Earth was flat, and that the Firmament was a black dome over the Earth, to which all of the stars were glued. (Read the beginning of Genesis, and the part of Revelations where the Lord rolls up the Firmament like a Venetian blind and takes it away. There goes the night sky and all of the stars that are glued to it.)

    Al Shebab is a terrorist gang in Somalia that is linked to Al Qaeda. They recently carried out a terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Kenya that killed 70 people. OPB Newshour, 2014.01.07, did an article on Al Shebab. In it, an Al Shebab leader Sheik Ali Dehere lectured new suicide mission recruits: “When we fight and are martyred, we are hoping to be with God in Paradise. We are hoping for beautiful women. What do the infidels hope for? Nothing.” 
    That is a false dichotomy. People who are not murdering terrorists hope for many things, generally good things. They might even hope to go to Heaven. And people who choose to not be murdering terrorists are not necessarily “infidels”. That is a Sheep and Goats distinction.

    George Bush uses the false dichotomy technique constantly, framing an argument as a choice between two irrelevant things. While talking about the armed insurgents in Iraq, he said that they had to “choose between freedom or a return to darkness.” (23 Aug 2005). The insurgents are not opposed to freedom. They are opposed to the occupation of their country by the United States Army. In fact, those insurgents want to be even freer than they are now, so that they can do whatever they want to do without interference from Americans.

     

    Recently, Tom Cruise appeared on television to promote the movie War of the Worlds. Somehow, the interview morphed into a tirade against modern psychiatry, and criticism of psychiatrists for giving tranquilizers to adults and psychotropic drugs to children. He voiced many bitter denunciations of modern psychiatry. Cruise claimed that “You don’t know the history of psychiatry like I do.” Cruise also said that he believes that Scientology offers a valid alternative to current psychiatric practices.

    But Tom Cruise is making the whole issue into a false Either/Or choice — a false dichotomy. Is isn’t EITHERmodern psychiatry is right, OR Scientology is right. Cruise ignores the obvious possibility that both could be wrong:

    • Some psychiatrists are very much at fault for prescribing entirely too many medications — especially Ritalin — to children just because they are high-energy little live-wires (which a lot of healthy children are). Sitting still in a classroom all day long, year after year, is downright unnatural and unhealthy, and drugging children to make them be quiet is despicable.

    • AND Scientology is at fault for being a complete fraud and cruel rip-off — just organized crime masquerading as a healing group.

     

    Bill Wilson’s favorite false dichotomy was to divide people into those “faithful” people who believed the crazy dogmatic things that he was preaching, and the “atheists and agnostics” who didn’t.

    And, some alcoholics accepted all of Bill’s bull, while others were “unreasoningly prejudiced“.

    And then A.A. teaches us that there are:
    1) those good A.A. members who Keep Coming Back to more A.A. meetings and Work The Steps in all of their affairs; and
    2) those unfortunates who will die drunk in a gutter.

    And,
    1) Good A.A. members are able to grasp a lifestyle that requires “
    rigorous honesty” (like Fake It Till You Make It and Act As If), while
    2) Non-members are “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.   …   They seem to have been born that way.”

  • The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend
    This is another kind of false dichotomy — an attempt to divide people into just two camps or sides or causes.

    Variations:

    • “The enemy of bad must be good.”

    • “Those who are opposed to bad must be good.”

    • “If a bad man hates me, then that proves that I am good.”

    • “If a very bad man is opposed to what Joe is doing, then Joe must good, and Joe must be doing good things.”

    • “The friend of my enemy is also my enemy.”

    • “If I am opposed to something bad, then I must be good.”


    Heinrich Himmler and two other S.S. officers collecting wildflowers for a little girl that he is going to visit.

    Those are obviously false assumptions, fraught with dangers. Nobody is absolutely bad, or absolutely good, so their enemy cannot be absolutely the opposite, either. Even Heinrich Himmler, the man who personally managed the halocaust that murdered 6 million Jews, had a soft spot in his heart for pretty little girls, and he doted on them and would pick wild flowers for them. But that didn’t make those little girls bad, or our enemies.

    Adolf Hitler hated Joe Stalin, and was totally opposed to what Joe was doing, but that didn’t make Stalin a good guy. Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were world-class murdering monsters.

    Peter Howard used this technique to try to claim that the Oxford Group / Moral Re-Armament organization was good. He claimed that he had a secret Gestapo report on the Oxford Groups that the Gestapo had printed during World War II, which condemned the Oxford Groups as a dangerous influence, and ordered Gestapo agents to watch them closely. Thus, Howard concluded, the Oxford Groups must be virtuous, and the allegations that the Oxford Groups were essentially a fascist cult religion must be false. That is bad logic. The leader of the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, was against all Christian churches, because they encouraged people to be loyal to something other than Adolf Hitler. Also, Himmler dismissed all of Christianity as a “Jewish” religion, and wanted to stamp it out and return to ancient paganism. So Himmler was wary of the Oxford Groups just because they said that they were Christian (which they were not, really, in the final analysis).

    Scientology routinely uses a variation on this tactic. Scientology opposes the use of all psychiatric drugs and medications, claiming that Scientology procedures are the only valid treatment for psychiatric problems. Scientologists especially like to complain about children being overmedicated with harmful drugs like Ritalin. Like most successful Big Lies, there is a grain of truth in such complaints. It is despicable to overmedicate children and dope them out just because they are energetic little live wires who don’t want to sit still in classrooms when the sun is out and it’s a beautiful day outside. But Scientology way overdoes it in opposing all psychiatric medications. And then they use the logical fallacy of “we oppose something bad so that proves that we are good.”

    And then they go on and on, denouncing drug after drug, finding fault with every tranquilizer and anti-psychotic around, picketing and warning against Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Seroxat, Prozac, Effextor, etc., and all the while claiming that they great because they are saving people from the bad psychiatrists. And the more they can find wrong with medications or psychiatrists, the more convinced they are that they are right about everything.

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses this ploy constantly by declaring, “Alcoholism is very bad, so A.A., which opposes alcoholism, is very good.”

    The so-called “recovery industry” uses this ploy by declaring that they are very opposed to “addiction”, implying that they are good people who are dedicated to helping others, rather than just charlatons with ineffective quack cures who are out to get your money. Their advertisements go on and on, ranting about how bad “addiction” is, without actually showing that they are doing anything good for the problem.

  • “Hobson’s Choice”
    Give a free choice between something or nothing.

    The classic example of Hobson’s Choice is “Take it or leave it.” Either take the one thing offered, or get nothing.

    The A.A. program is often offered in this manner: Either accept the entire program and believe all of it, or else get no help: “If you aren’t willing to accept this Program, then you should go out and do some more research on the subject.”

  • Alternative Advance
    Provide two or more choices which do not cover the range of possibilities, but which only reflect essentially the same proposition.
    A Jehovah’s Witness recruiter may say,
    “If you don’t agree with me, let’s study this book I’ve brought along. If you do agree, let’s go to the Kingdom Hall this Sunday.”
    Both choices expose you to indoctrination in their religion.
    10 One obvious logical choice is missing:
    “If we don’t agree about religion, we can just drop the matter and part company amicably.”

    Here is another example:

    In A.D. 640, when the Saracens captured Alexandria, seat of ancient culture, Greek scholars pleaded with them not to burn the scrolls of the great library. Their reply, as recorded by Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire remains a classic in theological logic. “If the writings support the Koran, they are superfluous,” ruled the warrior tribesmen. “If they oppose it, they are pernicious; burn them.”
    Richard Mathison, God is a Millionaire, page 33.

  • “Somebody’s got it worse”
    When people complain about something, tell them that they should be happy with the situation because somebody else has it worse.

    • “You should be happy to have Mr. Smith as your slavedriver. He only beats you once a day. Those poor bastards under Mr. Jones get beaten three times a day.”

    • “You are lucky to have those shiny new chains and shackles. Look at those poor slobs over there, with rusty old chains. Do you know how those things chafe on wrists and ankles?”

    • “You should be happy to be working for a dollar an hour. The boss is being generous. The guys in Bungeria only get 25 cents an hour.”

  • Faulty Syllogism
    Faulty Syllogism is bad logic, pure and simple — a bad chain of logical deduction.

    Technically, a proper syllogism is an argument, the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is: “All A is B; all B is C; therefore all A is C.”23

    Whew! A simpler and clearer example of a good syllogism is like this:

    “All Pekinese ducks are white.
    Mister Lee is a Pekinese duck.
    Therefore Mister Lee is white.”

    A faulty syllogism might be something like this:
    You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!

    Another rather popular faulty syllogism is this:

    • A young, aspiring poet has his poems panned, trashed, or ignored by the critics.

    • That young poet recalls that many of the greatest poets were also panned, trashed, or ignored by the critics when they were young.

    • “Therefore,” the young poet concludes, “I must also be one of the great poets.”

    Obviously, the flaw in the logic is to overlook the simple truth that for every young genius artist who gets panned by the critics, there are a hundred incompetents who really should be trashed by the critics.

    A variation on that faulty syllogism is:
          “Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, John Bellushi and James Dean all died young, and they were all great artists. So if I die young — go out in a blaze of glory like a shooting star — then I will also be remembered as a great artist.”
    NOT!
    You have to be a great artist to be remembered as one. Dying young does not make one a great artist.

    And memory is selective. What you don’t remember is all of the non-greats who died young. What were their names?

    And conversely, what about all of the great old artists? What about the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead, and B. B. King and Chuck Berry, and Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman and Frank Sinatra, and George Burns and Bob Newhart and W. C. Fields? They didn’t have to die young to achieve greatness, did they?
    (And that was a demonstration of the debating technique called “Refute by Example“…)

  • Non Sequitur
    Non sequitur means “it does not follow” — the logic is broken. If there is a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work.

    non sequitur can be something like this:
    “I supported terrorists today. I did just a little bit of dope. I thought I was just having fun, but I gave money to terrorists when I did that.”

    That is totally bogus logic. Colombian drug lords did not bring down the World Trade Center on September 11; some crazy oil-rich Saudi Arabians did. A good chain of logic is like this:

    “I supported terrorists today. I thought I was just having fun, but I gave money to terrorists. I drove my car down to the gas station and filled up the tank, and went cruising. But the gas station sent the money to Bush’s and Cheney’s friends’ oil companies, who sent the money to Saudi Arabia, which gave the money to the bin Laden family, who gave some of the money to Osama, who gave it to his terrorist guys. So I supported terrorists when I bought gasoline today.”12

    Likewise, this old argument is completely illogical: At the dinner table, a mother tells her child, “Finish your peas. There are children starving in China.”
    A precocious child will answer, “So send my peas to China.”

    A commercial on PBS for a big financial company tells the story of a couple of university professors who put their children through college. The wife stops the narrator and says:
          “You don’t build up a big nest egg on a couple of teachers’ salaries. You need a plan and a financial consultant who isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves.”
    That is nonsense, another non sequitur. Obviously, unless that couple robbed a bank or inherited a fortune or took bribes from their students for good grades, they really did build up their big nest egg on a couple of teachers’ salaries.

    Advertisements for some cigarettes brag that the tobacco is completely natural and free from additives and chemicals, so it is somehow less harmful. That is completely non-sensical logic. Tobacco in any form is poisonous, and tobacco kills 430,000 Americans per year, regardless of what chemicals it may or may not have added to it.

    Frank Buchman’s Oxford Group cult came up with this jewel:
    ‘I most hate self, because “I” is the middle letter of SIN.’
    (By that brain-damaged Oxford Group logic — ‘”I” is the middle letter of SIN’ — they should have also hated Saints and Salvation, because “S” is the first letter of SIN. And perhaps they should also hate Nuts and Noodles, because “N” is the third letter of SIN.)

    Another Non Sequitur, or piece of broken logic, is Carl Sagan’s old favorite:
    “There aren’t any aliens out there. We have been looking for them for 50 years, and we haven’t seen any. We would have seen them or made contact or something by now, if they existed.”
    Carl Sagan’s answer is: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
    In particular, we have explored only the most minuscule part of our Universe, maybe something like only a quintillionth of one percent or less. Even our best telescopes cannot even see the planets orbiting the nearest neighboring stars, so how could we see their spaceships? (Really. We compute the existence of distant planets by watching how the stars wobble a tiny bit as the invisible planets orbit them.) It’s outrageously premature to declare that there is nobody out there, just because we haven’t seen them yet.

    It’s kind of like going down to the seashore, and sucking up a drop of water in an eye-dropper, and then looking very closely at the drop, and announcing, “I don’t see any whales in there. Obviously, whales don’t really exist.”

    Another popular one is: “Drafting people and forcing them to serve in the army isn’t slavery because everybody is subjected to it.”
    Of course it’s slavery. Whether something is slavery or not has nothing to do with how many people are enslaved.
    (By the way, not everybody was subjected to it. Rich men’s sons got college deferments and ended up avoiding the draft. Dick Cheney got five deferments because he said he “had other priorities.”)

    In a TV commercial for the Turbo-Tax® computer program (2004.01.20), the husband asks, “What if we made a mistake?”
    His wife confidently answers, “The calculations are guaranteed accurate.”
    That is brain-damaged logic, a real non-sequitur. The husband asked “What if we made a mistake?”, not “What if the computer program made a mistake?”…
    Sure, the computer’s basic calculations like addition and multiplication will be accurate, but that doesn’t guarantee that the humans haven’t messed everything up. You know the old saying, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.
    The Turbo-Tax guys cannot guarantee against human error. The reason that it is so hard to make things fool-proof is because fools are so damned clever at thinking of new ways to screw things up.

    American Express has a commercial on TV that is similarly illogical. A man who declares that he works as a waiter in a restaurant and also coaches childrens’ basketball explains that,

    “I want my players to develop as athletes.
    “I want my players to develop as students.
    “My life isn’t just about playing games.
    “That’s why my card is American Express.”

    What?! There is no logic to that. He has not established any basis for choosing an American Express card over a VISA or Mastercharge. He has not introduced a single fact to support his sentiments. He might as well be saying,

    “My life isn’t just about playing games.
    “That’s why I drink only expensive imported single-malt scotch.”

    Crazy anti-environment people who are also religious fundamentalists declare that warning messages about destruction of the environment are untrue because…
          “We cannot destroy the world any more than we were capable of creating it.”
    That’s a non-sequitur — completely illogical nonsense. Of course we can destroy things that we did not create. Anybody who picks up a gun and kills someone who isn’t one of his own children is destroying something that he didn’t create. Anybody who is stupid enough to start a forest fire and burn down a forest is destroying something that he didn’t create.
    Those fundamentalists are trying to imply that only God can destroy this world (so we are safe from such danger), but that is obviously not true at all. That is just so much wishful thinking. Just ask the survivors of Hiroshima.

     

    Curiously, that goofy non-sequitur is almost a word-for-word repetition of the illogical argument that was parroted by the true believers in Frank Buchman’s Nazi-sympathizing Moral Re-Armament cult back in the 1930s and ’40s and ’50s. They declared that without hearing “The Voice” that Frank Buchman heard (which they claimed was the Voice of God) —

    Without it we are no more capable of saving the world than we were capable of creating it in the first place.”
    Experiment With God; Frank Buchman Reconsidered, Gösta Ekman, 1971, page 84.

     

    In another brain-damaged non sequitur, G. W. Bush tells the troops: “It is wonderful to bravely, patriotically, serve your country and fight terrorism. I am committed to fighting terrorism. Some of you may die in this war, but that is a sacrifice that I am willing to make. Bring ’em on!”

    The supporters of George W. Bush insist that having investigations to discover the truth behind Bush’s many, many mistakes, deceptions, and false statements regarding the war in Iraq would not be good for America:
    “We can’t discover the truth right now; we are in a war against terrorism.”
    That is a non sequitur.

    Recently (Nov. 22, 2006) the elder George Bush was in Dubai, where he was harshly criticized for the foreign policy of the United States and the military adventurism of his son. Papa Bush responded, “How come everybody wants to come to the United States if the United States is so bad?” That is a non sequitur. There are many good reasons for wanting to come to the United States which do not imply approval of George W.’s bombing and invasion of Afghanistan and Iraqi, or his policy of unquestioning support of Israel. One good reason for coming to the USA is to get away from American bombing in Afghanistan or Iraq. Another good reason is to get away from American-trained death squads in military dictatorships around the world.

    Another non sequitur: a cult old-timer declares, “I dedicated my life to the cult. I worked hard for 20 years to promote it and recruit new members. Therefore I am noble and selfless and the cult is wonderful, and we all live lives of self-sacrifice to help others.”

    This non sequitur might be called “proof by delusion”: “I saw lights, so it was a spiritual experience.”

    Paul Krugman reported a crazy non-sequitur recently:

    Consider one of Mr. Romney’s most famous remarks: “Corporations are people, my friend.” When the audience jeered, he elaborated: “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets.” This is undoubtedly true, once you take into account the pockets of, say, partners at Bain Capital (who, I hasten to add, are, indeed, people).
    Paul Krugman, Off and Out With Mitt RomneyThe New York Times, 2012.07.05

    The fact that people get money from corporations does not mean that corporations are people, entitled to human rights, like freedom of speech or the right to vote. Corporations cannot be imprisoned for their crimes, can they? Or be given the death sentence for polluting children to death. Or die of old age. Or get cancer. Or bleed and suffer. Corporations are actually just legal fictions that allow some people to do business without being liable for the consequences of their actions. If the same people do busness as a partnership, they can be put in prison for their crimes.

    Today, commercials on the radio tell you that you need to join Al-Anon or Ala-Teen “to get help” because Daddy drinks too much alcohol —

    “I don’t know who he is any more. I don’t know who I’ll meet — my husband or somebody else…”
    “We are the family and friends of alcoholics. We may be different, but we have one thing in common: We want our lives back.”

    The broken logic there is: “Daddy drinks too much alcohol, and living with him is a nightmare, so you need to go join the 12-Step cult religion where you will be told to confess all of your sins and find your part in it and quit being so selfish and quit being such a domineering bitch.”
    That’s a real non sequitur — there is no logic to it.

    For another example of bad logic:

    Both of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith, were very heavy smokers. So were most of the other early A.A. members. Bill Wilson often said that members did not need to quit smoking; that smoking was okay, and could even help (in spite of the fact that it was killing him). A coffee pot and lots of ash trays were considered the standard essential equipment for any A.A. meeting. Therefore, smoking lots and lots of tobacco, and drinking lots and lots of coffee, just like Bill W. and Dr. Bob did, is perfectly okay, and it may even help you to quit drinking alcohol, just like they did.

    (It may also help you to quit breathing, just like they did, but that’s another story…)

    Another brain-dead non-sequitur:

    “When I went to an A.A. meeting, I was amazed to see that they were all just like me. They really understood. For the first time, I felt like I belonged. Therefore, Bill Wilson was a total genius and right about everything, and the Twelve Steps are the One And Only True Path to Sobriety, Serenity, and God.”

    A very common argument that one often hears around the “recovery community” is descriptions of the horrors of alcoholism and drug addiction being used to glorify Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The logic is: “Alcoholism is bad, so A.A., which is intended to save alcoholics, is good.”

    But that is just another non-sequitur. That is no more logical than saying, “Alcoholism is bad, so Scientology is good.”
    Scientology also claims to have a never-fails cure for alcoholism and drug addiction — an allegedly-independent organization called Narconon. And their magic answer is: “Give all of your money to Scientology for more ‘auditing’, and they will fix your mind.”

    Just because something claims to have good intentions does not make it good. As one wit declared,

    “The opposite of ‘good’ is good intentions.”

  • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc — “It happened after ‘X’, so it was caused by ‘X’.
    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc means “it happened after…, so it was caused by…”. That implies a cause-and-effect relationship where none may exist.

    The classic example of this is, “The rooster’s crowing makes the sun rise: First the rooster crows, and then the sun comes up over the horizon, so the rooster’s crowing makes the sun rise.”

    A few more examples of false logic:

    • A bunch of teenage girls took sex education classes in high school, and then got pregnant. Therefore, sex education classes make teenage girls get pregnant. The classes give the girls ideas.
      The fact that young females have been managing to get pregnant for hundreds of millions of years without any formal education — using only on-the-job training — is considered irrelevant.

    • Tommy says, “I was sick. I drank a whole bottle of Dr. Philo T. Farnsworth’s Magic Rejuvenation Elixir, and immediately got better. So that Elixir really works good.”
      Tommy ignores the simple fact that most people routinely spontaneously recover from all of their illnesses (except perhaps the last one) without any Magic Elixir, so he has no way of knowing whether the Magic Elixir was responsible for his recovery.

    • Sam won the lottery, and immediately went on a huge outrageous binge of celebration that ended in him dying drunk. He had all of the free time and money he needed to drink himself to death, and he did. Therefore, winning the lottery is a terrible thing that will make you die drunk.
      (Likewise, success is also a dangerous thing that will probably ruin you, so don’t succeed in life.)

    • Joe went to A.A. meetings, and quit drinking. So, going to the meetings caused Joe to quit drinking.

    • Henry did the Twelve Steps, and quit drinking. He stopped drinking after he did his Fifth Step. That proves it: doing the Fifth Step makes people quit drinking.

    • Jackie relapsed after he did his Twelfth Step. So did Paddy and Lillian and Ebby and Johnny. That proves it: doing the Twelfth Step makes people relapse and die drunk.

  • The Norm of Reciprocity
    The norm of reciprocity is a technique that exploits people’s natural tendency to want to repay debts. I know that sounds unbelievably Pollyannaish, because you might think that most people want to avoid paying debts, but no matter how cynical you may feel about the human race, people do have a basically cooperative nature, especially in face-to-face relationships. It dates from our days as primitive members of tribes, just cavemen, who helped each other to survive. When one person does a favor for another, the other feels indebted, and wants to return the favor to even out the score. Even today, there are still a few remaining tribes who have an economic system that is just a complex web of traded favors and debts, and they all manage to remember who owes what to whom…

    The Hari Krishnas discovered that they could increase their haul of money from airports by giving away flowers. That is, if they just tried to shake travelers down for donations, they got rejected a lot. But when they gave travelers a flower, “…because we love you, and you are so beautiful…”, and then hit up the traveler for a donation, they got a lot more money. The act of giving the flower made the traveler feel indebted and embarrassed, and vulnerable to the request for money.

    Then they used the same technique for selling their Krishna books in airports: “Give” the book to the traveler “because he looks so enlightened, like someone intelligent enough to appreciate that material”, and then hit him up for a big donation to finance the printing and distribution of that cosmic wisdom…

    The one time they pulled that stunt on me, I had just spent my last dollar on the airplane ticket. When I finally managed to convince the woman who was working on me that I really didn’t have even just a twenty left in my pockets, she gave me a look of disgust, angrily grabbed the book back out of my hands, and stomped off in frustration… So much for how intelligent and enlightened I look… Oh well.

  • Guilt Induction
    Guilt is an especially powerful tool for manipulating people’s minds.

    A late-night TV infomercial says:

    “Don’t you think it’s time you gave your family all of the things that they deserve? Buy this get-rich-quick scheme right now.”

    Another commercial that sells a panic button service has a woman saying,

    “What if something happened to my mother? I don’t think I could forgive myself. I’ll buy her a medical alert service.”

    They imply that you are neglecting your mother if you don’t buy their service, and they make you afraid of what might go wrong. That commercial cleverly combines guilt induction with fear-mongering, so they are using two propaganda techniques on your mind at once.

    People who feel guilty are far more likely to comply with a request than they would be if they didn’t feel guilty. Thus, making people believe that they have hurt you, and then pressing a request for them to do something (which offers them a feeling that they can make amends by doing something for you) is an effective way to get people to do what you want.

    Guilt induction and self-criticism (confession) sessions formed the core of the Red Chinese brainwashing program, and they are still used by many cults. Edward Hunter wrote a beautiful book about the Red Chinese brainwashing that was done to the American, British, and other United Nations prisoners of war in North Korea during the Korean War. He explained the mechanics of “brainwashing” this way:

    The Reds had found that the easiest way to subdue any group of people was to give its members a guilt complex and then to lead them on from self-denunciation to self-betrayal. All that was required to put this across was a sufficiently heartless exploitation of the essential goodness in people, so that they would seek self-sacrifice to compensate for their feelings of guilt. The self-sacrifice obviously made available to them in this inside-out environment is some form of treason.
    Brainwashing, From Pavlov to Powers, Edward Hunter, page 169.

    So, first, the Communist guards would do something like make the prisoners feel guilty for being part of “a rich racist society where they never cared about the fate of the poor Negroes”, and then the prisoners had to confess that in self-criticism sessions, and then the only way to atone for such sins was to love and praise the wonderful Chinese Communist society where everyone was equal (but some people were more equal than others).

    Prof. Margaret Thaler Singer also considered inducing “a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, guilt, and dependency” to be one of the five essential conditions for an effective mind-control or “brainwashing” program. The Red Chinese guards were able to accomplish that easily, because all of the prisoners were at the mercy of the guards, who could punish or kill them on a whim, or for no reason at all.

    Likewise, many religions and religious cults use guilt to manipulate their members. Frank Buchman‘s Oxford Group cult refined guilt induction to an art and a science — “The Five C’s” — and used it as a standard part of their recruiting scheme. The Oxford Groups also induced a sense of powerlessness in their victims with the doctrine that “Everyone has been defeated by sin, and is powerless over it. Everyone is insane (except Frank Buchman and his lieutenants)Only ‘Surrender to God’[Read: surrender to Frank Buchman’s cult] can restore one to sanity.”
    All of Prof. Margaret Thaler Singer’s five essential conditions for an effective mind-control or “brainwashing” program were present in the Oxford Groups.

    Guilt induction is also a big part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. The A.A. founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith learned it from the Oxford Groups when they were members of that cult. Seven of the Twelve Steps, Steps Four through Ten, dwell on sins, “defects of character”, “moral shortcomings”, offenses, people we have harmed, and wrongs — “the exact nature of our wrongs.” Good A.A. newcomers are supposed to do a “moral inventory” and list every sin they ever committed in their whole lives, and then confess it all to another A.A. member and God. Then they are supposed to make another list of everybody they ever hurt, offended, or pissed off, and they have to go apologize or somehow “make amends.” And then they are supposed to repeat that whole rigamarole for the rest of their lives. Such constant guilt induction can be very harmful and psychologically damaging. It even sometimes drives people to suicide.

    (And Alcoholics Anonymous also induces a sense of powerlessness with Steps One and Two:
    “1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”
    “2. [We] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
    Implying that you are insane and you cannot heal yourself. Somebody else has to manage your life for you and restore you to sanity.
    With the guilt induction and inducing a sense of powerlessness, we have two of the most important ingredients for a working brainwashing program.)

    Bill Wilson’s mania for inducing guilt in others was so intense that he even tried to make people feel guilty for not being sinners. On page 66 of Bill’s second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Bill described all of the disgusting ways that sinners will sin and then deny it and try to avoid confessing their sins. Then Bill wrote:

    We who have escaped these extremes are apt to congratulate ourselves. Yet can we? After all, hasn’t it been self-interest, pure and simple, that has enabled most of us to escape? Not much spiritual effort is involved in avoiding excesses which will bring us punishment anyway.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 66.

    So if you don’t commit a lot of sins and crimes, then you should feel guilty for being selfish and pursuing “self-interest, pure and simple”:
    — You aren’t really a good person, and you aren’t really spiritual.
    — You are just selfishly avoiding punishment.
    Poor insane old Bill Wilson really did hate human nature. No wonder he was a chronic depressive.

    That’s also a good example of a double-bind — You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t:

    • If you commit a bunch of sins and crimes, it’s because you are selfish and unspiritual.

    • If you don’t commit a bunch of sins and crimes, it’s because you are selfish and unspiritual and just selfishly avoiding punishment.

    Either way, you are too selfish to be “spiritual.” So you should start doing Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps, listing and confessing all of your sins and feeling guilty about everything.

    But the best example of Bill Wilson’s crazy mania for guilt induction has to be this jewel where Mr. Wilson declared that we were guilty of all of the Seven Deadly Sins, including Sloth, because we work hard:

    And how often we work hard with no better motive than to be secure and slothful later on — only we call it “retiring.”
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 67.

    So, working hard now, so that we can retire later, in our old age, with some financial security, is contemptible slothfulbehavior, is it?
    Is there anything more ridiculous that Deacon Wilson could possibly try to make us feel guilty about?

  • Play On Emotions, Appeal To Emotions
    We have lots of emotions that can be manipulated by a clever propagandist. We’ve already mentioned guilt, which is in a category of its own. But there are plenty more to exploit, like: Fear, lust for power, hope, pride, vanity, egotism, insecurity, ambition, machismo, “patriotism”, greed, love, loneliness, nostalgia, religiosity, sentimentality, and lust for sex.

    • Fear, especially fear of death, is a particularly powerful emotion, one that can be manipulated to good advantage:

      • A preacher who wants to increase attendance at his church advertises: “Don’t wait for the hearse to take you to church.”

      • A cult recruiting leaflet asks, “If you died this very moment, do you know where you would spend eternity? If you do not, there is an answer for you. It is ______.” (Fill in the blank with the name of your favorite panacea…)

      • Believers who confuse religion and politics declare: “If we don’t line up politically, we Christians shall lose this country. The forces of evil are trying to take America away from us. Winning means that we will protect all that is good and sacred.”

      • When San Francisco residents suggested getting their own municipal power company so that they could stop paying for enormously over-priced electricity from PG&E and Enron, they were told, “It’s too risky, too costly.”
        (How could it possibly be more risky and more expensive than handing your wallet to Enron?)

      • Someone who wishes to stop a public debate declares, “The debate must be cancelled, both because it might offend people and because it could stir up racial hatred. There is a potential threat to public order.” (BBC News, Monday, 26 November 2007, “The limits to freedom of speech”)

      • Spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD).
        Microsoft is a past master of this stunt:

        “If you use some software that was written by someone besides Microsoft, it might not work right with your Micro$uck operating system. It might mess up your machine. You might lose files… We might even have deliberately built in some secret bugs and booby-traps and bombs that will get triggered if we see you using a competitor’s software in ‘our system’… You don’t get any guarantees that it will all work together correctly if you don’t buy all of your software from us.”

      • Promote Conspiracy Theories. “They” are all out to get you. (And a paranoid book of disorganized ‘facts’ proves it.) After September 11, 2001, our Commander-in-Empty-Flight-Suit Bush declared, “Oceans no longer protect us”as if the oceans protected us from the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, or from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993…

      • Alcoholics Anonymous often uses fear mongering and death threats to manipulate people:

        • A.A. teaches that failure to follow the A.A. program precisely will result in relapses and drinking yourself to death.

        • A.A. also teaches that you will either turn into a “dry drunk” and act crazy, or relapse and die, if you don’t“work a strong program” by practicing Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps “in all of your affairs.”

        • Bill Wilson constantly threatened people with death unless they followed his instructions exactly:

          Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [my required]Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant.
          Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 174.

        • They say that if you won’t make A.A. or N.A. your new life, that your fate is “Jails, Institutions, or Death.”

        • Failure to “Work A Strong Program” in A.A. will end in “Jails, Institutions, or Death”.

        • Step Eleven teaches us to practice meditation and prayer until we hear God talking to us, but then Bill Wilson tells us not to trust our own minds when we hear God talking — that it is “dangerous” to “go it alone” and could result in “tragic” results — so we should take our received “Guidance from God” to our sponsors for their approval, and let them rewrite God’s messages:

          If all our lives we had more or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that we weren’t still self-deceived?   …   Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous.   …   Surely then, a novice ought not lay himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic, blunders in this fashion. While the comment or advice of others may be by no means infallible, it is likely to be far more specific than any direct guidance we may receive while we are still so inexperienced in establishing contact with a Power greater than ourselves.
          Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 59-60.

    But there are also plenty of other emotions, besides fear, to exploit:

    • Arouse Resentments.
      Adolf Hitler found a great way to get the German people on his side: Claim that Germany had been attacked by the Jews, and that the Jews had caused World War One, and that the Jews were exploiting the German economy after the war, which was supposedly why all of the German people were poor and unemployed, which aroused feelings of paranoia, resentment, and anger. And then it didn’t matter whether it was the British and French, or the Jews or Communists, or Czechoslovakia or Poland, they had all supposedly attacked Germany or German people in one way or another, at some time or other, so it was supposedly okay for Hitler to strike back in revenge, which he did with a vengeance. That made Hitler look like a great leader, someone who was very strong on national defense while he invaded foreign countries.

      Fat old Nazi Reichmarshall Hermann Goering said, 

      “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

      Oddly enough, that is the same technique that George W. Bush and Carl Rove have been using on the American people to promote the war in Iraq. Did Rove study the Nazi propaganda techniques?

      Alcoholics Anonymous often arouses feelings of self-pity and resentment by complaining about how unfairly alcoholics have been treated for so long:

            Psychiatrist Leo Hennigan, a former alcoholic and author of the book A Conspiracy of Silence: Alcoholism, says that the battles he fought in the South Pacific during World War II were nothing compared to the personal war that he fought with alcohol for 15 years. Hennigan blames this long siege on the medical community’s disinterest. It wasn’t until 1956 that the American Medical Association labeled the condition a disease rather than immoral behavior, and even now, after four years of training at most medical schools, doctors receive only two hours of instruction about alcoholism. He also blames societal attitudes that reflect people’s misunderstanding about the disease. Most don’t realize that the nature of alcoholism causes the alcoholic to drink because he must, not because he wants to. Society is also largely unaware of alcoholism’s genetic predisposition. In Hennigan’s family, for example, three maternal uncles died before 50 of the affliction.
      When Hennigan takes issue with Alcoholics Anonymous, it has nothing to do with its tremendous 75% rate of rehabilitation. Instead, he argues that AA relies too much on the “anonymous” part of its title. When the organization began in the 1930s, the group was small and needed the shield of anonymity, but not so today. “If AA’s anonymity is scrapped, the group’s ranks will swell by many millions and greatly assuage the effects of alcoholism in America.” The most therapeutic role that AA can deliver is to allow struggling members to be encouraged by others who have “been there, done that.” In fact, it was the testimony of a recovered alcoholic that influenced the AA founders to begin the organization.
      When alcoholics are no longer anonymous, Hennigan contends, the organization will finally fulfill the 12th step of the program which says: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics.”
      “Alcoholism’s nemesis”, by Robert Selle. World & I magazine, Jun 2000 (Vol 15, No 6). Pages 62-65.

      • Oh those poor, hard-done-by long-suffering alcoholics. The doctors are stupid and don’t know anything and don’t care, and nobody understands alcoholism, and society’s attitudes are all wrong. The only answer is to cry in your beer and go join a cult religion.

      • And that declared 75% success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous is a lie, so the author was assuming facts not in evidence. Bill Wilson was actually lying with qualifiers when made that claim — he only counted those people “who came to A.A. and really tried”. (If they didn’t quit drinking, then, in Bill Wilson’s opinion, they didn’t “really try”.) Wilson wrote that lie in the forward to the second edition of the Big Book, and the A.A. true believers have been repeating it ever since, but it’s still a lie. The truth is that even the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous,Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith, calculated that their success rate was a mere five percent — which is just the same as the success rate of people who do it alone, without Alcoholics Anonymous.

      • In this sentence, the author used the tricks of Assume Facts Not In Evidence and Assume The Major Premise:
        “Most don’t realize that the nature of alcoholism causes the alcoholic to drink because he must, not because he wants to.”
        No matter how many people “realize it” or don’t realize it, the assumed “fact” is flat-out wrong, period. Alcoholics drink because they want to. Alcoholics have a choice. If alcoholics didn’t have any control over their drinking, then they couldn’t quit drinking. But they do quit, by the millions, and they do it without any cult “support group”.

      • [Oh, by the way, the World & I magazine is a front for the Moonies. It is part of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s empire. That’s why they publish goofy articles like that.]

    • Arouse ‘Patriotism’.
      In the nineteen-sixties through the ‘eighties, there was a Moral Re-Armament song-and-dance show called 
      Up With People, which featured squeaky-clean, well-shorn beautiful young people singing and dancing and waving the American flag in patriotic skits. Although the show never explicitly said that we should go over to the other side of the world and drop bombs on skinny, starving rice farmers in Viet Nam and kill about two million innocent civilians, that was the effective message, and that’s what happened. All of that, just from appealing to “love of country”, and “love of people” and “the American Way”.

    • Arouse ‘Love’ and exploit peoples’ loneliness.

      • The Moonies (members of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church) use “love bombing” to exploit the loneliness and horniness of new prospects:

        Basically I felt a great love and warmth from all sides and I couldn’t understand why they were so loving and warm. Why were they so serving? At times I found it a bit oppressive, it was too much for me at some times. I couldn’t understand why they were doing it because I’d never met Christians like that before. They were talking about changing the world. Other Christians always talk about the Bible and believing in Jesus Christ and believing faith would do it — and I believed that that wasn’t going to do it at all.
        The Making Of A Moonie: Brainwashing Or Choice?, Eileen Barker, page 185.

        “Again, there is a strict segregation between the sisters’ and brothers’ sleeping and bathroom arrangements, but physical contact in the form of (albeit strictly platonic) hugging and hand-squeezing occurs frequently between the sexes. The guests may have their backs and shoulders rubbed during lectures (presumably to keep them awake) or at night (presumably to help them sleep). I received an expert massage from one young woman while she told me about her experiences when her mother, one of the most active anti-Unification campaigners in America, had attempted to have her deprogrammed.”
        The Making Of A Moonie: Brainwashing Or Choice?, Eileen Barker, page 112.

        A further ‘spontaneous’ response, towards the end of the weekend, was to break into song:
        We love you, Eileen (or Johnathan, or Dave, or Jane),
        We love you more than anyone,
        We don’t want you to leave us —
        And we don’t mean maybe!

        The Making Of A Moonie: Brainwashing Or Choice?, Eileen Barker, page 113.

      • Alcoholics Anonymous also exploits people’s feelings of loneliness or isolation:

        • “We offer you unconditional love and acceptance.”

        • “Let us love you until you can love yourself.”

        • “When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting.”
          Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 57.

    • Appeal to Sentimentality and Nostalgia.
      Many successful politicians have a collection of mawkish sentimental stories to tell, real tear-jerkers, to appeal to the voters’ emotions. They brag about their retarded kid that they didn’t let go of, or their sick kid, or the child that died, or their wife with cancer, or good old Mom, or their grandparents who were such wonderful “God-fearing” people before they died, or the father who mined coal until he died putting his children through college.

      There are also the glowing stories of the “good old days”, and how wonderful life was in a small town way back when. Andy Griffith built a whole sentimental world, Mayberry, on such fond remembrances, a small town where life was simple and everybody knew everybody else and the biggest crimes were parking tickets, and the bumbling Deputy Sherrif Barney Fife (Don Knotts) was not allowed to carry a loaded gun. Politicians love to invoke such images as “the Real America”, and “the forgotten America”.

      Of course those nostalgic stories don’t really have anything to do with what this politician might do if he gets his hands on some power and taxpayers’ money, or whether he will devote his careeer to collecting bribes, but his stories sure sound sentimental.

      Alcoholics Anonymous also uses sentimentality and stories of the “good old days” to talk about how wonderful A.A. was way back when… In fact, there is a whole “Back To The Basics” fundamentalist school of A.A. that insists that A.A. worked great in the early days, and that A.A. is having difficulties now only because “the message” has become “watered down”. But if we just get back to the basics and practice that old-timey religion properly, then it will work correctly and everything will be wonderful.

      Alas, it isn’t so. A.A. was a failure in the beginning too, and Bill Wilson just lied about it and faked the numbers.

  • Are You Afraid?
    This is a mind game that tricks people into doing whatever you wish by implying that they are afraid to do it, and that’s the only reason why they won’t do it. This trick arouses several emotions: macho pride, fear of cowardice, fear of being shamed or embarrassed, and it urges people to do something just to prove that they aren’t afraid.

    Steve Hassan, in his book, “Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves”, described how, as a 19-year-old student at Queens College in New York City, he was approached by three attractive women who said they were also students, and invited him to dinner. He had just broken up with his girlfriend, so he was lonely, and didn’t mind having some female companionship. He wound up accompanying his new friends to a few weekend workshops — all in the spirit of being “open minded.”

    “It dawned on me when I was driving with them to an estate in upstate New York owned by the Unification Church. I’d ask them, ‘Why are we going there?’ They would turn it around on me and say, ‘Why, are you afraid?’” Hassan recounted. And that deception was the beginning of several years of “service” to the cult.

  • Induce and Exploit Apophenia
    Apophenia is also known as “seeing through tinted lenses”.

    People’s brains have an unfortunate tendency to see what they expect to see, and only notice what they want to see. Once somebody buys into a peculiar model of reality, a perceptual filter kicks in where they notice more and more “facts” that appear to reinforce their chosen beliefs, and they ignore any conflicting information that comes along, so they become more and more convinced of the correctness of their beliefs: “It’s all so obvious to anyone who learns the real truth!”

    “All of us show bias when it comes to what information we take in. We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.”
    “We need to acknowledge our tendency to incorrectly process challenging news and actively push ourselves to hear the bad as well as the good.”
    “Why We Make Bad Decisions”, New York Times, 19 October 2013
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/opinion/sunday/why-we-make-bad-decisions.html%29

    • Fundamentalist Christians see Satan as the cause of all of our problems, and every bad event on the evening news is seen as further evidence of the truth of that belief.

    • “End-timers” see that the end of the world is coming very soon now. They see all of the end-of-the-world prophesies in the Bible as already coming true, and the end is near.

    • Communists see those rich capitalists waging class warfare as the cause of all of our problems, and the news ‘proves’ their viewpoint right.

    • Other people see it all as conspiracies of the Trilateral Commission and the Illuminati and the New World Order…

    • The X-Files crowd sees everything in terms of Roswell crashes and government cover-ups and alien abductions and secret organizations and interplanetary plots…

    • Neo-Nazis see everything as the Jewish Conspiracy to take over the world…

    • Other rather depressed people see society as degenerating and becoming increasingly immoral, and it’s all going to fall apart soon. The evening news tells them that crime is increasing, and everything is just getting worse and worse.

      This is nothing new. Thousands of years ago, an unhappy Assyrian enscribed:

      The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
      == Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BC

    A skillful propagandist can use this human logical failing to his advantage. Apophenia helps to create really blinded, convinced, true believers. Radical politicians, extremist preachers, and cult leaders all encourage and exploit apophenia in their followers. Start off by teaching the followers and believers merely biased and questionable “facts”, and then use those non-facts as the basis for believing more unrealistic ideas, which form the basis for more radical views, which lead to unquestioning belief in even more radical ideas.

    • Many years ago, I went to a Pentecostal church service where the preacher read a newspaper article about the Satanic funeral of a Satan-worshipper. The Satanic preacher consigned the dead man’s soul to Hell and the care of Satan. Rather than dismissing this story as an example of the stupidity and foolishness of some people, the preacher declared that this was proof that they were locked in mortal combat with Satan and that they must become even more devoted, unshakeable, true believer Pentecostals.

    • I was recently watching an episode of the TV program Uncovered: Alien Files, where, in just a few minutes, I got statements that assumed the truth of the Bermuda Triangle, Flight 19, Atlantis, alien spacecraft, the Roswell flying saucer crash, and the government coverup. That show is apophenia to the max.

      (Flight 19 was an incident where a squadron of fighter aircraft took off from a base in Florida and flew out over the Atlantic ocean and became disoriented and ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea and were lost. Then a flying boat that went to rescue them also crashed into the ocean and was lost. No traces of the lost aircraft or the flight crews were ever found. The UFO true believers insist that aliens kidnapped them. You can get more details from the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_19 )

    • Extremist right-wing politicians declare that the sad state of affairs in America is caused by “Liberals” and welfare queens sucking the money out of America. They never mention oil companies getting billions of dollars in tax breaks and ultra-cheap leases of government-owned offshore oil fields. And those policians argue that workers demanding decent wages is driving American companies overseas where cheap Chinese labor will work for less. (There is some truth to that, but making American workers live in poverty is not the answer. If all of the workers are broke, who will buy the products in the stores and make the economy go?) And of course “Big Government” is just messing everything up. (But don’t expect those angry right-wingers to give up their lucrative farm subsidies or their fat defense contracts from Washington.)

    • Extremist left-wing politicians see every billionaire in America (except George Soros and Warren Buffet) as monstrously selfish and evil criminals who are practically the spawn of Satan — heartless creeps who deliberately steal food out of the mouths of babies, and take away their medical care, and destroy America by outsourcing American jobs and giving them to cheap Chinese wage-slaves. (There is a shred of truth in this, but only a tiny shred. Sufferers from apophenia way over-blow it. There are actually good rich people who really want to do the right thing.)

    Also see the Wikipedia page on apophenia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia.

  • Ad Hominem, Launch Personal Attacks On Opponents
    When you can’t refute factual arguments, kill the messenger. Have fun with character assassination. Attack the arguer and not the argument. 
    Ad Hominem includes slurs, slander, libel, innuendo, baseless accusations, irrelevant criticism, groundless denunciations, and name-calling.

    For example,

    • “Maybe that book you quoted makes a good case, but I heard that the author is a drunk.”

    • “The author is obviously biased. He is just a pill-pusher.”

    • “I can’t believe what you say because you’re just an imperfect human being.”

    • “You don’t get it.”

    • “You’re just arguing to prove to your colleagues that you can change my mind.”

    • “That came from a guy who has a bathtub in his basement.”

    • “He still lives in his mother’s house.”

    • “You should learn to be more civil in your criticisms.”

    • “You are just prejudiced. Who did you vote for in the last election?”

    • “You are just partisan.”

    • “You are on a crusade against [whatever], aren’t you?”

    • “You are an outsider.”

    • “You are immoral, unspiritual, and against God.”

    • “You are just trying to make us look bad.”

    • “You are just an immature complainer.”

    • “You are just feeling sorry for yourself.”

    • “You are just up tight. Don’t be so up tight.”

    • “Don’t take yourself so seriously.”

    • “You are ugly, and your wife is even uglier.”

    • “You are stupid.”

    • “You are crazy.”

    • “You don’t know what you are talking about.”

    • “You have funny hair.”

    • “You have bad taste in music.”

    • “You have a bad attitude.”

    • “You are against religion.”

    • “You are just in a bad mood.”

    • “You are just on the rag.”

    • “You are carrying on like an old woman.”

    • “You should be on the ’10 Worst-Dressed People’ list.”

    • “It seems very unlikely that you wished that the Olympus E-3 camera was a better camera. You are only too happy to criticize the E-3.” And dismiss criticism as invalid and “nit-picking”“Isn’t all that excessive comparison and pixel-peeping going much too far for this forum?”

    • And, when you refuse to believe the lies of a thieving con artist, he says, “You have some trust issues that you need to work on.”

    • When a black person or a long-haired old hippie argues that there is something wrong with a society that spends more money on jails and prisons than on schools, the neo-conservatives answer, “Oh, you’re just worried about getting sent to prison yourself.”

    When people objected to major credit card companies paternalistically declaring that you could not pay for certain purchases with their credit cards, like medical marijuana, gambling chips, online pornography, or donations to Wikileaks, a defender of the credit card companies declared:

    Paul, you sound like one of those who believe you have the right to do what you want when you want and no mater who it hurts as long as it feels good to you. You probably voted for Obama as well wanting to redistribute the wealth so you can buy more porn, cigs and alcohol then cry foul and leave the card company and the paying world with your problem and by proud of yourself. What a jerk!!
    == Petem
    http://mtf.news.yahoo.com/mailto/?prop=finance&locale=us&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffinance.yahoo.com%2Fbanking-budgeting%2Farticle%2F112832%2Fcredit-card-wont-let-you-buy-smartmoney&title=credit-card-wont-let-you-buy-smartmoney%3A%20Personal%20Finance%20News%20from%20Yahoo%21%20Finance

    A blogger described the behavior of Pentecostal recruiters who use the ad hominem technique on people who disagree with them:

    …when a Pentecostal cannot get you to agree with his memorized slogans or his procedure to manipulate you into doing and thinking in his way, he will dispense with you as a corrupt, or even as an evil person. Furthermore, if his mind is working even at a deficient level of efficiency, and part of his mind can see that you have a valid point, he will immediately recognize your “logic” as a threat and he is likely to attack you personally, and accuse you of ulterior motives for holding such “logic.” However, he cannot see that his response is not a rational response to a respectable argument, but a change in the context — he changes the subject from the topic at hand to you personally, and proceeds with this attack.

    This, I assert, is the basis of FRAUD.

    It is based upon a faulty system whereby the person is not bound by the ground rules of a logical system. They are not engaging in a debate or discussion with you; they are trying to manipulate you. They might try to deceive you into thinking that they are open to discussion or a respectable debate, but they are not; they are being deceitful, crafty, irrational, and devious. Again, go back and read what I described above. If they talk to you and then proceed to attack you personally instead of focusing upon the subject at hand, they are playing a manipulation game and not entering into a serious discussion. When they accuse you of bitterness without listening to your arguments, they are hustling you; the same goes for any other number of epithets they use to dismiss you and attack you personally, like backslider, reprobate, rebellious, etc.
    http://ex-pentecostal.blogspot.com/

    When Jesse Prince, a former leader of Scientology in Denmark, criticized the dishonest financial practices that he had seen in Scientology, a spokesman for Scientology answered,

    To make allegations about the church’s finances now, Mr. Prince, who has not been a position of responsibility in the church for nearly 15 years, and who hasn’t even worked for the church for more than 7 years, is, uh, very specious. He’s not in any position to know.
    ARON MASON, in an interview, reprinted on the Rick Ross website
    http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/personal1.htm [Dead Link]

    Note that Mason did not actually deny or even answer Prince’s statements about Scientology’s history of financial dishonesty — Mason just implied that Prince didn’t know what he was talking about because Prince couldn’t know what the current facts were. That’s a type of Ad Hominem attack.
    (It’s also bad logic: “If you can’t prove that I stole money this week, then what I might have stolen last year doesn’t count.” It’s also the propaganda trick of Creating A Diversion — divert attention to a different time.)

    Sometimes ad hominem attacks can be quite subtle. When the Alaska oil pipeline was pierced by a bullet, 275,000 gallons of oil spilled out because the operators of the pipeline took several days to stop the leak. As you can imagine, some Alaskan citizens complained. Aleyesca, the pipeline operator, claimed that it had handled the accident in a competent manner, and that “The criticism came from a small group of critics who always criticize everything that we do.”22
    That is a kind of 
    ad hominem attack on critics.
    The oil company did not actually respond to the charges and accusations of incompetence. They did not explain why it took them several days to plug a single bullet hole. They merely attacked their critics, trying to assert that the criticism was invalid because it came from a small group of vocal critics.
    But the truth is: It does not matter whether the criticism comes from a small group of diligent watch-dog citizens or a large environmental protection agency — valid criticism is valid criticism, and incompetence is incompetence.

          You can use the Ad Hominem technique to defend Alcoholics Anonymous like this:
    If a critic says something like,
    “We have a lot of good, valid, scientific and medical studies that show that the Twelve Steps do not cause people to quit drinking or stay sober,”
    then you should respond with:

    • “Oh yeh? Well I hear that you are just an atheist and a liar, and crazy.”

    • “You are just in it for the money.”

    • “You are insane.”

    • “You are in denial.”

    • “You aren’t an alcoholic, so you can’t possibly know what you are talking about.”

    • “And if you are an alcoholic, then you are just a dry drunk.”

    • “You haven’t been a member long enough to know anything.”

    • You just don’t want to get sober.”

    • “You are just unspiritual and don’t want to Work The Steps yourself.”

    • You are against spiritual principles.”

    • “You are against God.”

    • “You hate God.”

    • “You criticizing A.A. because you just want to drink.”

    • “That’s just your selfishness talking.”

    • “You don’t know what you are talking about because you don’t Work The Steps.”

    • “You have a grudge against A.A., that’s all…”

    • “Right now your mind is insane, and you can’t tell the truth from the falsehood.”

    • “You are just looking for an excuse to drink.”

    • “You are angry.”

    • “You have a ‘resentment’.”

    • “You don’t understand A.A..”

    • “You don’t understand A.A. spirituality because you are an atheist.”

    • “You don’t understand A.A. spirituality because you are a Christian.”

    • “You don’t understand A.A. spirituality because you aren’t a member of A.A..”

    • “You are too dishonest to understand A.A. spirituality.”

    • “You just don’t get it.”

    • “You think you know everything.”

    • “We don’t have to listen to you because you don’t have any credentials — you aren’t a doctor or a professor. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

    • “We don’t have to listen to you — you are just a doctor. A.A. knows much more than all of the doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that we went to for so many years.” (See the Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.)

    • “You just want to sell pills.”

    • “You think you are smarter than other alcoholics.”

    • “You are diseased and in denial if you criticize Alcoholics Anonymous.”

    • “You just don’t want to quit drinking.”

    • “Screw you! What do you know about sobriety?”

    • “You aren’t qualified to have an opinion of A.A. yet, because you don’t have enough years of sobriety.” (And if you do have enough years, then “You are just a Bleeding Deacon.”)

    • “your obviously not equiped to give any advice.” (sic., sp.)

    • “Those critics are often pushing inaccurate information or unintentionally pushing misinformation.”

    • You are angry, so we don’t have to listen to you.”

    • “Somebody injured you; that’s why you spend so much time criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous.”

    • “Your posts and your website lead me to wonder why you spend so much energy on this. Don’t you have anything better to do than run down a group that has helped many, many people?.” (Hint: That line was not about me; it was aimed at Rebecca Fransway in the newsgroup alt.recovery.from-12-steps, Feb. 8, 2001.)

    • “You are just obsessed with proving Alcoholics Anonymous wrong.”

    • “You are a chronic slipper who could not grasp AA at all.”

    • “You will relapse soon.”

    • “You will fall off of the wagon soon.”

    • “Nobody can have as many resentments as you have and not drink again.”

    • “Are you still drunk? Anybody with such a chip on their shoulder will go back out again.”

    • “You are one of the people who couldn’t work the program.”

    • “You are not really committed to sobriety.”

    • “Your arguments are more and more like rants. Increasingly technicoloured ones.”

    • “You just like to hear yourself talk.”

    • “You don’t care how many alcoholics you kill by saying that A.A. doesn’t work.”

    • You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety.”

    • “You are doing great harm to alcoholics.”

    • “You are causing alcoholics to relapse.”

    • “You are hurting alcoholics by driving them away from Alcoholics Anonymous.”

    • “Have you saved any lives lately, or do you just sit here and bitch about AA?”

    • “That orange guy is getting really REALLY boring.”

    • “Your anger towards A.A. can’t be doing you any good.”

    • “You spent a lot of time trying to figure out why AA didn’t work for you. Which is really just a way of justifying your drinking.”

    • “You’ve only paused your drinking, and never genuinely stopped.”

    • “You must be an agnostic or an atheist if you object to the wonderful spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous.”

    • “And I’ll bet that you molest little girls when the moon gets full, too.”

    • “Somebody must have hurt you. That’s why you criticize A.A.”

    Here is another example of an ad hominem. When somebody using the name “King EZ” posted criticism of A.A. to a blog, an A.A. defender counter-attacked with:

    King ez can’t spell worth a damn, and places punctuation at random between words so his writing will look like — books he sees; at barnes&noble. Though this % makes his posts hard to read, make no (mistake), he is a genius, both his Son and {Mother} think — so.
    http://kingez.com/blog/2008/11/11/aa-become-the-addiction/

    That attack uses both ad hominem and sarcasm. But there was not a word of defense of A.A., or any facts relating to the subject of “addiction to A.A.”. Just complaints about imaginary errors. And the funny thing is, I couldn’t find any incorrect punctuation, and only a few misspellings, in the original post. But who needs facts when you are defending a cult?

    And a cute variation on that theme is:
    “Oh you poor thing. I’m so sorry to hear that the 12-Steppers hurt you so bad. You are obviously in need of some counselling. Just call 1-234-567-8901 and we’ll fix you right up.”
    In other words,
    “Yep, you’re insane, so us counselors who push 12-Step meetings on every patient we get can happily disregard everything that you have said about the inefficacy of 12-Step ‘treatment’.”

  • Engage in Name Calling
    Name calling is a kind of 
    ad hominem attack, but it has a special power and flavor all its own.

     

    “If you can’t answer a man’s argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.”
    — Elbert Hubbard

     

    This technique is simple and obvious: you just call your opponents names, preferably really derogatory and slanderous names, like this:

    • “You are an atheist, a liar, a dummy, a drunkard, etc…”

    • “You are a sexist, a racist, a fascist… not politically correct…”

    • “You are an elitist, effete, intellectual…”

    • “You are a Communist, or a socialist, or a Jew, or a Nazi…”

    • “You are a terrorist…”

    • If someone wants to leave a few old trees standing in the forest, call him a “tree-hugger”.

    • If someone talks about the inequality of the justice system, where poor blacks get the death sentences, but rich people who can afford a dream team of expensive lawyers get off, call him “a bleeding-heart Liberal.”

    • When France and Germany declare that they do not wish to participate in unprovoked “pre-emptive warfare”, dismiss them as “the old Europe”.

    • A blogger who insists that people are not going to wastefully use up the world’s remaining oil supply declared on 10 October 2005, when the price of oil declined temporarily:
      “I don’t know how low it [the price of oil] will go, but I do know that the frikkin’ lunatics over at clusterfucknation are foamin’ at the mouth about this. ‘Its just temporary. We’re still all gonna die.’ Kuntsler says it is a ‘Make-believe nation’. They just can’t take it that the apocalypse is not nigh.”

    • If someone criticizes Alcoholics Anonymous, answer:
      “People who attack A.A. are just stupid A.A.-bashers. You don’t have to pay any attention to what A.A.-bashers say because they are just stupid A.A.-bashers.”

      “You’re just a dry drunk with a resentment…”

      And when sober old-timers complain about A.A. misbehavior, say “You’re just a bleeding deacon…”

    Notice that name-calling allows you to actually define your opponent, based on just a few facts, or even on no facts whatsoever.

    Also notice the implication that it is okay to kill people if you call them the right name, like “Communist”, or “terrorist”.

  • Apply Labels
    Apply labels to things or people — especially derogatory labels. This is very similar to name-calling.

    • If someone talks about universal health care, scream “That’s Socialism!”

    • If someone talks about peace and freedom and justice, complain, “That’s a Liberal agenda.”

  • Delegitimize One’s Opponent
    Delegitimize one’s opponent so as to avoid addressing the substance of his argument. This is another kind of ad hominemattack. The goal is to make it impossible for opponents to be heard respectfully in the debate.

    • “Those protesters are just a bunch of unruly kids.”

    • “Those protesters are just a bunch of unemployed people.”

    • “Those protesters are just a bunch of old people.”

    • “Those protesters are just a vocal minority.”

    • “They are just on a crusade against [whatever].”

    • “They are all just Socialists.”

    • “They are all just Communists.”

    • “Those people are just religious fanatics.”

    • “They are all cult members.”

    • “They are skinheads.”

    • “They are Tea Party members.”

    Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI, 1947-1957) accused Gen. George C. Marshall and Secretary of State Dean Acheson of being part of “a [Communist] conspiracy so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so bleak that, when it is finally exposed, its principles shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all liberal men.” If a politician can convince the audience that his opponent is a sleazy Commie lying traitor, then it won’t matter what the other guy says after that…

    When ABC News wrote an article about the Democrat’s targets for investigation (Nov. 8, 2006), one Republican apologist responded:

    “It causes me concern that Nancy Pelosi has stated that Halliburton, CIA, and tobacco companies are early targets for them. They need to get on with real business. Voters wanted change. Not adults acting like children.”

    So, Republicans investigating President Clinton’s sex life for two years was okay, but Democrats investigating major crimes like immense corruption and war profiteering, secret CIA kidnappings and “renditioning” to foreign torture prisons, and tobacco companies addicting our children to a killer drug is “adults acting like children.”

    When the Olympic torch was being carried through London (4 April 2008), protestors denounced China’s occupation of Tibet and human rights abuses. Protestors repeatedly clashed with the Chinese security guards and British police. Then a Chinese official criticized the protesters:

    A spokesman for the torch relay’s passage around the world, Qu Yingpu, putting a brave face on the protests, said Chinese officials were grateful to the British police “for their efforts to keep order.”
    He added, “This is not the right time, the right platform, for any people to voice their political views”. 
    New York Times, 6 April 2008

    As if we should suddenly stop caring about freedom and human rights abuses just because someone declares a sporting event?
    And who says that sporting events cannot be the site of a protest about human rights violations?
    (And what good did it do to let Adolf Hitler host the 1936 Berlin Olympics without protest?)

    When a photography web site (DPreview.com) gave a well-deserved low rating to an Olympus E-510 digital SLR camera, one Olympus fan retaliated with, “DPReview can say what ever they want when classifying cameras. I believe they are just bowing to Canon’s marketing strong arm.”

    • As if nobody could possibly criticize a defective, inferior, crippled Olympus camera unless he was paid to do it, and threatened with loss of advertising revenue.

    • And notice that the speaker was also using the propaganda technique of providing feelings or beliefs instead of any actual evidence. The speaker said that he believed that the rating was unjust.

    • Also notice the propaganda trick of “demonization of the enemy”. Canon is allegedly a monster that causes people to tell lies, rather than just a company that makes better cameras.

    When I complained about how inferior the Olympus E-510 was in so many ways, another Olympus fan-boy responded with the same “Delegitimize One’s Opponent” propaganda trick, implying that I was stupid for expecting it to be a good camera: “What did you expect in that price bracket? [$1000] You don’t get all of the features that you want for that price.” As if I’m not supposed to expect to get a good camera for $1000.

    A.A. members use this Delegitimize One’s Opponent technique too. When people start discussing the failings and shortcomings of Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-Step program, some true believer A.A. member often sanctimoniously declares, “I am not much of an AA gossip. I’m here to save my ass.” 
    That of course also has nice touches of “spiritual one-upmanship”: “People who tell the truth about the bad aspects of A.A. are just ‘gossips’, but I’m better than that.”

  • Deflect Criticism and Blame By Delegitimizing It

    As in, “That’s just campaign talk.” (So ignore it.)

    After the Wall Street melt-down, we heard.

    • “I don’t think that this is the time to be pointing fingers.”

    • “We don’t want to get into the blame game.”

    which just means,

    • “Let’s not talk about who screwed up big time.”

    • “Let’s not prosecute the criminals.”

    You heard a lot of that kind of talk in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when nobody wanted to take the blame for the FEMA incompetence. You also hear it in relation to the quagmire in Iraq.

    Recently, when someone listed a dozen things that Apple iOS had copied from Android, someone else responded:

    Oh for the love of God , can we please NOT turn this into another boring Android Vs iOS thread , it’s getting so boring with the same people making the same comments over and over again.
    Posted by DarkSeptember, June 18, 2012 1:46 PM (PDT)

    Well, that’s one way to stop criticism of Apple without actually answering the criticism.

     

    On May 18, 2007, former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration, saying that President George W. Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” when it comes to international relations.

    Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush:

    “We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered. But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”

    Carter’s harshest assessment was of the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone:

    “The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion. Those things in my opinion are quite disturbing. As a traditional Baptist, I’ve always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”

    Republican National Committee spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson questioned why Carter, who teaches Sunday School in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, would attack Bush:

    “Apparently, Sunday mornings in Plains for former President Carter includes hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man. It’s hard to take a lecture on foreign policy seriously from President Carter considering he’s the same person who challenged Ronald Reagan’s strategy for the Cold War.”

    Notice that she did not actually answer any of President Carter’s criticisms of Bush’s policies and actions. She just attacked the source of the criticism, and tried to imply that Carter had no legitimate grounds for criticizing Bush, and therefore the criticism was invalid.

    And of course Ms. Wilkerson also used the ad hominem technique, personally attacking President Carter, as well as completely reversing reality. She accused Carter of “hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man” when she was actually the one who was doing that. Carter did not “hurl reckless accusations”; Carter spoke about the American tradition of never attacking first and never deliberately starting wars and never being the aggressor, and the American tradition of separation of church and state. And Carter spoke about how the current Bush administration had violated those policies. But she didn’t want to talk about that, so she attacked President Carter personally, and said that it’s hard to take him seriously.

     

  • Delegitimize Criticism and Rebuttal in Advance
    Devalue, delegitimize, and reject responses in advance of them happening.

    For instance:

    • “Oh, don’t mention Prof. Falken’s study. Everybody knows he’s nuts.” (Slander.)

    • “I don’t want to start an argument, but…” (So don’t contradict the nonsense that I’m saying.)

    Bill Wilson used this technique too:

    Some will become quite annoyed if there is talk about immorality, let alone sin. But all who are in the least reasonable will agree upon one point: that there is plenty wrong with us alcoholics…
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, pages 48, 49.

    So if you don’t want to go along with Bill Wilson’s hatred of those disgusting sinful alcoholics, then you are being “unreasonable”.

    Bill Wilson did it again here, in a different way, as he taught people how to conduct séances and channel God and get messages and work orders and power from God:

          … Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.   …   We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, pages 86 to 87.

    Bill Wilson declared that if somebody started acting crazy from doing Step 11 because he was convinced that God was telling him to do insane things, that wasn’t the fault of Bill’s occult practices, or of “God” — that was just a beginner who had not learned how to be a good psychic yet. So don’t criticize Bill’s superstitious practices; there is nothing wrong with them. It’s just the beginners’ fault.

  • Spurious Delegitimization of Evidence or Criticism
    Attempt to delegitimize annoying and inconvenient little facts and evidence by a variety of techniques like bad logic, slurs, and innuendo. Similarly, dismiss criticism as invalid without actually answering it.

    For instance:

    • “That report has been discredited.” (Passive voice. Discredited by whom? When? Where?)

    • “That report is old.” (Dismiss by Antiquity, reject by age.)

    • “That information is considered invalid.” (Passive voice, nobody there. Considered invalid by whom?)

    • “That’s the tenth time you’ve mentioned that. Will you get off it?” (Repetion doesn’t make information become untrue.)

    • “Everybody considers that book worthless.” (Appeal to “everybody knows”.)

    • “You are criticising the Church’s coverups of child-molesting priests because you are bigoted and prejudiced and just against the Church.” (Use of ad hominem.)

    • “You are criticizing Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people because you are anti-Semitic and racist.” (Use of ad hominem.)

    • “Your criticism is hurting the feelings of a billion believers.” (Use of ad hominem.)

    • “You criticise Catholics but you wouldn’t do the same to religion X…” (Use of ad hominem.)

    • “You criticise Islam but you wouldn’t do the same to Christians or Jews…” (Use of ad hominem.)

    • “I’m offended by your accusations.” (Use of the Drama Queen Ploy.)

    • “Quit trying to stir up trouble.” (Use of Spurious Delegitimization of Opponent.)

  • Spurious Rejection of a Question
    Use invalid or spurious reasons for rejecting a question that you don’t wish to answer.

    For example:

    • “That question was a trap!”

    • “That question is unfair!”

    • “That’s none of your business!”

    • “You can’t ask about the A.A. success rate because A.A. is not a treatment program and A.A. doesn’t keep records.”

  • Demonize the Enemy
    Make one’s enemy into the Devil incarnate. Tell endless stories how evil and monstrous the enemy is.

    For example, as the Bush administration lied us into the War in Iraq, we were told that Saddam Hussein was “the Hitler of the Middle East”, and that he used chemical weapons on his enemies (which the USA actually gave him to use on the Iranians), and that his troops were so heartless and brutal that they threw Kuwaiti babies out of incubators and onto the floor as they stole the incubators. The latter story was actually a lie told by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to incite Americans to go to war on behalf of Kuwait.

    In A.A. circles, those people who criticize Alcoholics Anonymous are demonized with accusations that they don’t care how many alcoholics they kill (by telling the truth and discouraging people from believing in A.A.).

  • Stroking Ploys
    This is just the opposite of name-calling — call somebody good things, like: “a patriot, a real American, a great Christian, a real credit to his race, an example to us all, an inspiration.”

    A late-night TV infomercial that advertizes an exercise machine introduces the machine’s designer as: “Here is Joe Blow, one of the hottest men in Hollywood because he gives people what they want — crisp, lean, healthy bodies.”

    A radio advertisement for vitamins says, “Dr. Sawbones, a recognized authority on blah-blah…” Recognized by whom? We got no actual evidence that Dr. Sawbones knows anything.

    The true-believer Buchmanite Theophil Spoerri gave us examples of both denigration and stroking ploys in his biased biography of Frank Buchman: Dr. John Hibben, President of Princeton University, was called “a well-meaning but weak man”,and Spoerri said, “fearing for the good name of the university, [he] allowed himself to be stampeded”when President Hibben banished Frank Buchman and his cult from Princeton. On the other hand, Spoerri called the lady Anneliese von Cramon-Prittwitz, who converted to Buchmanism, “a distinguished and intelligent woman.” (Dynamic Out Of Silence: Frank Buchman’s Relevance Today, Theophil Spoerri, pages 77 and 114, respectively.)

    Bill Wilson gave us an example of this technique in his pro-smoking story on page 135 of the Big Book. The chain-smoking A.A. member who threw a drunken screaming temper tantrum to avoid quitting smoking was called “our friend” and “a most effective member of Alcoholics Anonymous”, while his clean and sober wife who was pleading with him to quit killing himself with cigarettes was called “one of those persons” — you know, one of those intolerant puritanical killjoy nagging wives who are always trying to keep us good old boys from having fun.

  • Offloading Blame

    The propagandist never accepts blame for his mistakes or crimes. Somebody or something else is always to blame. This is especially true of politicians and cult leaders who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    “Now look at what you made me do.”
    “He started it.”
    “He did it first.”
    “It’s all because of them.”

    The following tricks are various ways to offload blame.

    • Blame A Scapegoat
      This is a well-known trick: find a scapegoat to blame for all of your group’s problems.

      Hitler was of course infamous for blaming the Jews for all of Germany’s economic problems after World War One. He even claimed that a Jewish conspiracy had caused World War One. And Hitler insisted that the Germans would be very happy after the Jews were eliminated.

    • Blame The Victim
      If a crime is committed against someone, blame the victim instead of the perpetrator. When something goes wrong, blame the victim rather than the cause of the problem.

      Trial lawyers love to use this one: “That bastard deserved to get murdered. He had it coming. His killer did the world a favor.”

      Or, “She deserved to get raped. She was asking for it. Look at the sexy way she dressed. Everybody knew that she was a loose woman.”

      That is part of the classic “Nuts and Sluts” defense — claim that the woman who got raped is crazy and a whore (so presumably, it doesn’t matter that she claims that she was raped).

      “You were just gullible and asking for it…”

      After somebody gets robbed, tell him, “You shouldn’t tempt people.”

      Another example from politics: “John Kerry deserves to get attacked with lies and smears committed by the ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’. He brought it on himself by daring to mention his good war record.”

      Sometimes this technique is used very subtley. Get a load of what a merchant says when his company goofs and ships the wrong part to a customer:
      RMA #: 106260 – Wrong Item Received
      Note — wrong item received by customer, not wrong part shipped by merchant. That stupid customer went and received the wrong part.

      Bill Wilson and A.A. are masters of this stunt. Bill Wilson wrote these lies in the Big Book, and they are read out loud at the start of every A.A. meeting:

      RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

      At some of these [steps] we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.
      The A.A. Big BookAlcoholics Anonymous, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, “How It Works”, page 58.

      If the hocus-pocus voodoo-medicine cult religion program of Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t work, and doesn’t really help you to quit drinking, then it’s all your own fault because you are so bad, so dishonest and lazy, and selfish and manipulative, always seeking an easier, softer way, and you were born that way:

      “The program doesn’t fail people; people fail the program.”

    • Blame Somebody Else (Anybody Else)
      This is the more general version of Blaming A Scapegoat.

      • You can blame other people for your problems — “They are all against me. They have been sabotaging me at every turn.”

      • You can blame subordinates for your poor job performance: “No one in the Intelligence Community urged me to step back from my tough talk about a nuclear Iran posing a danger of World War Three.”

      A popular variation on this technique is, “Do Whatever You Wish To Do, And Blame Somebody Else For It”.

      • “The reason why I must create and enforce such draconian rules and regulations is because some people cause problems.”

      • “We wouldn’t need to bug your telephone and spy on you if it wasn’t for the terrorists…”

      • “Now look at what you made me do.”

    • Blame A Non-Factor
      Blame something that isn’t really the cause of the problem. (It’s a kind of diversion tactic, diverting attention from what is really wrong.)

      Homer Simpson, refusing a beer: “Can I just have a glass of water?”
      Moe the Bartender: “Water?! That stuff killed my Grandmother.”

      George W. Bush recently gave us a good example of this technique. While touring in Biloxi, Mississippi, in early May 2006, Bush declared that he would like Congress to “give me a capacity to raise CAFE standards.” (CAFE is “corporate average fuel economy” — the miles-per-gallon standards for new cars.) Well gee, it seems like Bush would have raised the fuel efficiency standards long ago, if it weren’t for that nasty Republican-controlled Congress tying his hands and keeping him from doing the right thing.

      But Bush always had the power to change the fuel standards. Ronald Reagan didn’t need the approval of Congress to change the standards (downward). Certainly Congress was under the impression that the President could require cars to get better mileage in the 1990s, since it went out of its way, using annual spending legislation, to prevent President Clinton from doing so. But now that the public is noticing that Bush has done nothing to make the car manufacturers build in better fuel efficiency, Bush claims that he needs Congress to allow him to do his job.

      Likewise, A.A. boosters try to explain away the immense A.A. failure rate by saying, “Well, you can’t consider those people who drop out of A.A. without working the Twelve Steps to be failures of Alcoholics Anonymous. They don’t count. You can’t blame A.A. if they won’t work the Steps. And you can’t blame A.A. for those drunks who didn’t “work a strong program”. They don’t count.”

      Actually, they do count. No matter why people quit A.A. without quitting drinking, A.A. still failed to get those alcoholics sober. They are still a part of the A.A. failure rate. Either the A.A. program works to make alcoholics quit drinking, or it doesn’t.

      Something that is so repulsive that it causes 95% of the newcomers drop out within a year cannot claim that it is a great success, or would be a great success, if only people would follow orders.

      And what about all of the people who spent years in A.A., working the Steps and “working a strong program”, and who regularly relapsed anyway? The speaker doesn’t mention them. He tries to pretend that they don’t exist — he tries to claim that all of the A.A. failures and dropouts are solely due to people not working the program correctly.

      (And then they use a self-referential definition of “correctly”. Someone who is “working the program correctly” is abstaining from drinking. So by definition, the program “always works if people work it correctly”.)

  • Claim That There Is A Panacea
    Claim that there is, or that you have, a magical cure for all of your listeners’ problems.

    Adolf Hitler told the German people that he had a simple sure-fire cure for Germany’s economic woes: National Socialism, which really meant fascism, which included getting rid of the Jews and Leftists, and having Germany run by “one strong leader”, and getting revenge on Britain and France…. We all know how well that worked out.

    Bill Wilson declared that the relabeled Oxford Group cult religion (which he called “the Alcoholics Anonymous program”) was the answer to all of an alcoholic’s problems:

    “Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems.”
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, page 42.

  • Claim That There Is A Panmalefic
    panmalefic is just the opposite of a panacea. A panmalefic is supposedly the one big bad cause of all of your problems.

    I just made that word up. A panmalefic is the exact opposite of a panacea. Where a panacea is one simple cure for all of your problems, a panmalefic is the one simple cause of all of your problems.

    The prefix “pan” means “over all” or “entirely covers” or “everywhere”, as in pan-American, pandemic, and panacea.
    The word “malefic” is in the dictionary, and means “causes evil, bad things, ills, harm, or diseases”.
    Put them together, and you have a word that means the cause of all of the world’s problems.

    Simple-minded people like simple answers, so they love to hear that everything can be explained in terms of panmalefics and panaceas.

    Historically, plenty of rabble-rousers have used the panmalefic idea to blame one scapegoat or another for everything:

    • “Jews are the cause of all of our problems and are a great threat to our children and our nation and we must find all of the hidden Jews and destroy them before they do great harm to us.” [Paraphrasing the Nazis in 1932.]

    • “Communists are the cause of all of our problems and are a great threat to our children and our nation and we must find all of the hidden communists and destroy them before they do great harm to us.” [Paraphrasing Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-MN) in 1952.]

    • “Alcoholics are the cause of all of our problems and are a great threat to our children and our nation and we must find all of the hidden alcoholics and destroy them before they do great harm to us.” [Paraphrasing The Secret History of Alcoholism: The Story of Famous Alcoholics and Their Destructive Behavior, by James Graham, and also Doug Thorburn’s books.]

  • Flattery
    Get someone to accept the bulls**t that you are shovelling by flattering and praising them. This is an unabashed appeal to egotism.

    For example, a television commercial tells housewives that “You are so wonderful — you juggle six jobs at once, take care of three kids, and still manage to look good — so that’s why you should buy our junk. A sophisticated person like yourself would settle for nothing less…”

    Another commercial declares, “Your life has more than one dimension. That’s why you wouldn’t consider playing [golf] with anything but…”

    And another commercial says, “There is no mass-produced human being. We know that you are unique, with special tastes.”(That’s why you should buy the same mass-produced junk that we sell to everybody else.)

    The advertising on a box of clove cigarettes says, “Their brown wrapping is uniquely created to suit your distinct personality.”

    • My distinct personality? What is so distinct about being stupid enough to get addicted to nicotine and burn out your lungs?

    • And that brown wrapping isn’t unique. They crank out those clove cigarettes by the millions, and every last one of them has the same brown wrapping, no matter whether they are being made for me or for the teenage kids down the street.

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses this stunt too. If you believe A.A. propaganda, you will “Come To Believe” that only unto you has the Lord given the gift of being able to heal other alcoholics — you are that special in the eyes of the Lord — you have been chosen by God:

     

    God in His wisdom has selected a group of men to be the purveyors of His goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon He went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went to the humble, to the sick, to the unfortunate — he went to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the world. Well might He have said to us:

    Into your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a Power beyond estimate. To you has been given that which has been denied the most learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not to wives or mothers, not even to my priests and ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics, which I entrust to you.

    Judge John T., speaking at the 4th Anniversary of the Chicago Group October 5, 1943.

     

    Well, God might have said that to them, but God didn’t really say that to them, now did He? Nowhere in the Bible, The Talmud, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Sutras, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Dead Sea Scrolls, or any other major religion’s scriptures does it say that the alcoholics are God’s Chosen People, entrusted with “a Power beyond estimate” — “the only cure” to alcoholism.

  • Proof by Anecdote
    Proof by Anecdote is a stunt where you make some grand generalization, and then you tell one or more stories that appear to support your generalization, and then you conclude that the point is proven. (You can ignore all of the other stories that disprove your point.)

    For example, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech on TV where he told of Sandinista soldiers tying a priest to a tree and beating him. Reagan concluded that this story was proof enough of the evils of the Sandinistas to justify the USA waging an undeclared, illegal, war against Nicaragua for several years, the war that ended with the treasonous Iran-Contra Arms-for-Hostages and the Oliver-North-Contra Cocaine-for-Guns fiascoes.
    (President Reagan didn’t bother to give any TV speeches complaining about how many Nicaraguan civilians were killed by the Contras, or how many American inner-city black kids were killed by the Contras’ cocaine. Just a few anecdotal stories of Sandinista soldiers’ misbehavior was all of the evidence that Reagan needed or wanted…)

    This Proof-by-Anecdote technique is heavily used in advertising:

    • “Diets never worked for Susan, but then she discovered the Shrivel-Up Program® and lost 50 pounds.”

    • “My wife and I needed a new dishwasher. Thanks to you we received a $1900 Viking dishwasher for free!”

    • “I made $8000 in my first week of trading.”

    • “He made more money on that trade than he made in a week on his job. And what computer program did he use to trade stocks? The XYZ program from the stock market genius Joe Blow.”

    • A radio commercial that advertises a service that will deal with the IRS for you says, “I owed the IRS $125,000, and they settled for $22,000.” But of course there is no evidence that you will get that lucky.

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence”.

    Lots of organizations like to use poster children to “prove” their point. The homophobic fundamentalist Christians show off one guy who says that he got “converted” from homosexuality or bi-sexuality to straight heterosexuality, and then they claim that their poster-child example proves that all gays are merely “choosing a gay lifestyle”, and that they can change if they want to.

    Likewise, the entire back two thirds of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, with all of its autobiographical stories, is just one long demonstration of the Proof by Anecdote propaganda technique. Bill Wilson just printed a collection of people’s stories, all of which claimed that A.A. had helped them in some great way, and then Bill concluded that the stories proved all kinds of things like:

    • that the A.A. program and the Twelve Steps really work for quitting drinking,

    • that the A.A. program is the only thing that works.

    • that prayer really works, and that God could, and would, if they asked Him to, answer their prayers, and remove all of their “defects of character”, and make them quit drinking.

    • that people must completely surrender and completely give themselves to the “simple” A.A. program,

    • that if you pray and meditate enough, you can hear God or some other Higher Power talking to you in your head,

    • that you can get wonderful results, and recover from alcoholism, by praying to just any old God or “Higher Power”, and your “Higher Power” can be anything you wish it to be, including the A.A. group itself.

    • that God is actually eager to start doing favors for you and granting all of your wishes, just as soon as you start doing Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps.

    None of which were actually proven, or even demonstrated by a fair sampling of cases. It is obvious that the stories are just another example of cherry-picking — Bill printed only those stories that said what he wanted people to believe, and rejected everything else. A.A. members who didn’t get sober did not get to put their stories in the Big Book. (And “cherry-picking” is actually just another name for Observational Selection.)

    This is another example of Proof by Anecdote, used in a slightly different way:

    Step Nine has reclaimed many broken friendships; it has brought peace and happiness to the lives of those who suffered because of our alcoholism. Its great rehabilitative power has also affected the lives of thousands of alcoholics through the spiritual awakening they have experienced. Because of this Step, these alcoholics have recovered their self-respect, they have taken on courage and confidence, and they have assumed responsibility. They sense God’s presence, and with His presence comes the realization that their lives are again becoming manageable.
    The Little Red Book, Hazelden, page 89.

    Gee, that sounds pretty fantastic. I guess we should all start doing the Twelve Steps immediately, so that we can get the Big Experience too, right?

    Well, it sounds great, but only until we remember that A.A. claims to be keeping millions of alcoholics sober. If only “thousands” out of millions get the wonderful “spiritual awakening” and “sense God’s presence”, then the odds of getting “The Big Spiritual Experience” are really only one in a thousand.

    Now that doesn’t sound so awe-inspiring, does it?

    Note just how carefully that deceptive, double-talking Hazelden propaganda was constructed. If we read it critically, we will see that maybe a few thousand people — out of millions of claimed A.A. members — have benefited in some way from the Twelve Steps that Bill Wilson wrote. But, without hesitation or qualifications, Hazelden says that the guilt-inducing Twelve Steps will give people:

    • self-respect

    • courage

    • confidence

    • responsibility

    • awareness of the presence of God

    • and manageable lives

    without offering us any actual evidence or proof of their unfounded grandiose claims that the 12-Step program has “great rehabilitative power.”

    Which brings up the next item: Double-talk.

  • Double-talk
    Confuse your listeners with contradictory, illogical, or incomprehensible jabber:

    • The pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm wrote: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”

    • An Oxford Group leader bragged about the accomplishments of the Groups as,

      “Men are becoming freed from acquisitive greed into stewardship of property; they are becoming freed from the stagnation of the instinct of curiosity into a new enlightened stewardship of the mind.”
      Oxford and the Groups, Rev. G. F. Allen, et al., page 40.

      • So, apparently, the greedy men get to keep their property, but not their curiosity.