It is a well-known fact that criminals accuse others of their own crimes. You can see examples of this in life all too frequently. But if you watch the activities of crazy conspiracy theorists from this same point of view it can be a very revelatory exercise.
Let’s just widen this criteria just a bit further. In the classification of “conspiracy theorist” let us also include “propagandist.” Propagandists are just liars with an agenda. And conspiracy theorists are, for them, great tools to work with—otherwise known as useful idiots. Turns out there is a specific definition of useful idiot, “In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.“
Weapons of Mass Distraction
What’s the basic intention here? The criminal accuses others of their own crimes to distract attention and investigation away from their nefarious actions. But it is this factor of misdirection that so attracts the propagandist and conspiracy theory purveyor to this same tool.
Foil-hat mannequin Alex Jones is hell bent on selling overpriced low quality vitamins and other products to the fools that clamor to hear his latest mental concoctions. This is how he makes his money. He attributes his “reports” to “his sources” which are more likely just the voices inside his head—or a troll farm in Saint Petersburg, Russia. What is he trying to distract people from? Simply any relationship his listeners may have to logic, common sense and decency. And that way he can sell them stuff. I know of a person who has a stack of boxes of survival supplies in his apartment that were purchased from Jones. The lesson here is that fear and anger mismanagement are great tools for separating people from their money.
There is actually a word that describes what people like Alex Jones and other do: Agnotology: “the study of wilful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favor. It comes from agnosis, the neoclassical Greek word for ignorance or ‘not knowing,’ and ontology, the branch of metaphysics which deals with the nature of being.”
Slicing and Dicing
The guy who has to all appearances gotten away with more blatant lies by pointing to others through distraction techniques we happily now refer to as “The Former Guy.” Like others, we are also tired of saying his name. This guy is a lot of things, but probably the most important term that should be applied to him is “factionalizer.” Not really a word but it should be.
The former guy’s main claim to fame is the creation and subdivision of factions. From the first day he announced his candidacy he started in on creating factions. Actually, he started much earlier with his “birther” ploy. The idea is to create select groups of people that can then be dehumanized. It is clever and is a tried and true technique for separating selected groups of people as a targeted segment from society. What market is he selling these factions to? White supremacists, racists and those who have a shallow view of mankind as something dangerous if it looks different than them.
The mental state of people like the former guy, Alex Jones, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon and the rest, dictates that it is always someone else that we must fear and hate. And if those groups are artificially created so much the better. If that group is an idea like Antifa for instance, that plays into their hands. There is no better enemy to fear than an invisible one. Of course anyone who fought against the Axis in World War II is Antifa. How convenient that our current day propagandists omit understanding of this.
What’s in a Word?
One of the primary tools in the world of propaganda and which aids and abets their mission of distraction is word play. Words are redefined or used as codes that the “in” folks understand. Today’s headlines contain numerous references to nutcases like Marjorie Taylor Greene, the former guy and many of his orange-nosers calling Democrats and liberals “communists.” It is heavy-handed and stupid, but their core base—white supremacists and the ultra gullible—buy it.
The word liberal is another great example. The dictionary says,
- “willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.
(in a political context) favoring policies that are socially progressive and promote social welfare.”
- “relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.”
Of course to the propagandists liberal is just another word for communist or Nazi. Interesting that people with a demonstrable Nazi mentality accuse others of being Nazi. Seeing a pattern here?
How do we combat the constant onslaught of insanity from this crew? There are actually a number of ways.
- Disengage. This sounds to simple to be effective, but it is, more so than you might think. These guys are after people’s emotions. They want us riled up and pissed off. Why? Because angry people make bad decisions—and spend money on stupid things like lots of survival supplies and donations to an orange grifter. Additionally, these folks feed on our emotions. This sounds like science fiction but the real deal is that their personal mental state is so desperate for any kind of validation that being upset with them actually validates them and makes them feel better. Want to make these creeps feel bad? Ignore them or even laugh at them.
- Fact Check. Do this mercilessly. Truth always works. It may not seem like it at times, but liars thrive on people who believe them. Ever notice how insulted a liar gets when he is disbelieved? It is a pleasure to behold. The more the merrier.
- Prosper. Being successful in the face of people who clearly show ill will to you is the best revenge. It also invalidates their efforts to distract you from your life and happiness. Remember, these people want you chasing fake enemies and thus wasting your time. Your time is your commodity, not theirs. So when you spend it on yourself and your life you are denying them your time and attention.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.