The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” — Wikipedia
In “A brief history of Propaganda” at the ChangingMinds.org website they note:
The term ‘propaganda’ first appeared in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV established the Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith. Propaganda was then as now about convincing large numbers of people about the veracity of a given set of ideas. Of course, propaganda is as old as people, politics and religion. People with ideas will always want to persuade others about them and, if they have the power, they will pull every string they have to persuade
everyone.…Misinformation and disinformation are widely used to distract people from the truth and create new realities.1
According to the world’s largest collaboratively-written online encyclopedia Wikipedia:
Propaganda can be classified according to the source and nature of the message. White propaganda generally comes from an openly identified source, and is characterized by gentler methods of persuasion, such as standard public relations techniques and one-sided presentation of an argument. Black propaganda is identified as being from one source, but is in fact from another. This is most commonly to disguise the true origins of the propaganda, be it from an enemy country or from an organization with a negative public image. Grey propaganda is propaganda without any identifiable source or
During a 2005 Social Security conversation in New York, former U.S. President George W. Bush explained how “a personal savings account would be a part of a Social Security retirement system,” and those already retired “don’t have anything to worry about – third time I’ve said that. I’ll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the
The Rule of Three of which Aristotle wrote in his book Rhetoric “put simply… is that people tend to easily remember three things,” writes Presentation Magazine. For presentations, the magazine lists four key points:
- The audience are likely to remember only three things from your presentation – plan in advance what these will be…
- There are three parts to your presentation. The beginning, the middle and the end. Start to plan out what you will do in these three parts.…
- Use lists of three wherever you can in your presentation. Lists of three have been used from early times up to the present day. They are particularly used by politicians and advertisers who know the value of using the rule of three to sell their ideas.…
- In Presentations “Less is More”. If you have four points to get across – cut one out. They won’t remember it anyway.…
A classic example of the rule of three was Winston Churchill’s famous Blood, Sweat and Tears speech. He is widely attributed as saying I can promise you nothing but blood sweat and tears. What he actually said was “I can promise you Blood, Sweat, Toil and Tears”. Because of the rule of three we simply remember it as Blood sweat and
“In 1933, Hitler realized the potential of propaganda and appointed Joseph Goebbels as Minister for Propaganda,” continues the ChangingMinds.org synopsis. “Goebbels was remarkably effective and much of the propaganda literature discusses in detail the methods they used.” ChangingMinds.org also notes the creation of The Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA):
In 1936 Boston merchant Edward Filene helped establish the short-lived Institute for Propaganda Analysis which sought to educate Americans to recognize propaganda techniques. Although it did not last long, they did produce a list of seven propaganda methods that have become something of a standard.
- Bandwagon: Pump up the value of ‘joining the party’.
- Card-stacking: Build a highly-biased case for your position.
- Glittering generalities: Use power words to evoke emotions.
- Name-calling: Denigrating opponents.
- Plain folks: Making the leader seem ordinary increases trust and credibility.
- Testimonial: The testimony of an independent person is seen as more trustworthy.
- Transfer: Associate the leader with trusted
During World War Two, the U.S. Military utilized propaganda by dropping leaflets on enemy troops depicting, among other things, death and destruction from superior firepower unless they surrender. A detailed history of propaganda leaflets and the Monroe bomb drops of World War Two may be found at the ww2propaganda.eu website:
Captain James Monroe of the USAAF invented a bomb for the spreading of leaflets. The so-called Monroe bomb was taken into service. This bomb consisted of a paperboard cylinder in which up to 80.000 leaflets could fit. These bombs were dropped like normal bombs. A small detonator caused the cylinder to open at any given height. The leaflets were spread over a large
|Monroe bomb||Source: http://ww2propaganda.eu/spread3.htm|
|Photo # NH 97050 Loading a M1A1 cluster adapter, 1950|
|One of several fliers dropped into Southwest Asia|
1 “A brief history of Propaganda,” ChangingMinds.org, at http://changingminds.org/techniques/propaganda/propaganda_history.htm (retrieved: 4 January 2011).
2 “Propaganda,” Wikipedia.org, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda (retrieved: 3 January 2011).
3 President Participates in Social Security Conversation in New York, 24 May 2005, Social Security Online (www.ssa.gov), at http://www.ssa.gov/history/gwbushstmts5b.html (retrieved: 3 January 2011).
4 Presentation Skills 3: The Rule of Three, Presentatio Magazine, at http://www.presentationmagazine.com/Essential_presentation_skills_3_Rule_of_three.htm (retrieved: 4 January 2011).
5 “A brief history of Propaganda,” ChangingMinds.org.
6 “The ultimate method: Monroe’s bomb,” Propaganda Leaflets of the Second World War: Falling from the Sky, ww2propaganda.eu, at http://ww2propaganda.eu/spread3.htm (retrieved: 3 January 2011).
Esther Inglis-Arkell “How to use the ‘serial position effect’ for fun and profit,” io9.com, 13 February 2013, at http://io9.com/5983832/how-a-simple-to+do-list-can-let-you-get-away-with-anything (retrieved: 19 March 2013).
“Amer. soldiers loading propaganda leafle [sic],” Life Magazine, at http://www.life.com/image/50648407 (retrieved: 4 January 2011).
“TerrorStorm (Alex Jones),” video at Google Video, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5948263607579389947 (retrieved: 4 January 2011). (
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