DISINFORMATION TACTICS OF HISTORICAL CRITICISM

KEY THOUGHT: HISTORICAL CRITICS OFTEN USE DISINFORMATION TACTS AS A MEANS OF DEALING WITH OPPOSITION TO THEIR VIEWS!

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From Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:   The Rules of Disinformation   (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist) by H. Michael Sweeney. These 25 rules are everywhere in media, from political debates, to television shows, to comments on a blog.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you   know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news   anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have   to deal with the issues.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars very rarely, if ever, criticize each other.  They merely compliment each other’s works. The phrase “good ol’ boy network” really applies here.

2. Become incredulous and  indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and  instead focus on side issues  which can be used show the topic as being  critical of some otherwise  sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known  as the “How dare you!”  gambit.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars become indignant if you criticize them!  Why, how dare you criticize such prestigious British-trained, ivy league scholars!  After all, are we not educated in British elite schools!  Everyone else knows nothing!

The Epistle to the Galatians would never make it into the canon of the New Testament today if critically-influenced scholars were in charge of the canon!

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by  describing all  charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors  and wild  accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of  truth may work  as well. This method works especially well with a silent  press, because  the only way the public can learn of the facts are  through such  “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with  the Internet,  use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have  no basis in  fact.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars will SAY that they support the trustworthiness of the Bible, but their ACTIONS & EXEGETICAL CONCLUSIONS often stand in direct opposition to what they assert verbally.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a  seeming element of your opponent’s  argument which you can easily knock  down to make yourself look good and  the opponent to look bad. Either  make up an issue you may safely imply  exists based on your  interpretation of the opponent/opponent  arguments/situation, or select  the weakest aspect of the weakest  charges. Amplify their significance  and destroy them in a way which  appears to debunk all the charges, real  and fabricated alike, while  actually avoiding discussion of the real  issues.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars will say that those who do not use their historical-critical approach or system are uncritical and do not believe in any criticism of Scripture!  Nothing could be further from reality!  It is always the KIND OF CRITICISM that is the issue.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.  This is also  known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though  other methods  qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents  with unpopular  titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”,  “left-wing”,  “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”,  “racists”,  “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This  makes others  shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label,  and you  avoid dealing with issues.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars love to use the term “KNEE-JERK CONSERVATIVE” or other choice phrases for anyone who would dare disagree with them.  After all, to disagree with them is to be UNTHINKING and a dolt!

6. Hit and Run. In any  public forum, make a brief attack of your  opponent or the opponent  position and then scamper off before an answer  can be fielded, or  simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well  in Internet and  letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream  of new  identities can be called upon without having to explain  criticism  reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never   discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that   would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

Answer:  Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars do this frequently on their own blogs!  Turn-about is fair play.

7. Question motives.  Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to  imply that the  opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or  other bias. This  avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the  defensive.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars turn arguments against their views into something that they say are personal attacks.  They don’t like their names mentioned with their views.  BUT separating views from individuals is not possible.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with   authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae”   to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so   without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing   sources.

Answer: Many critically-influenceded evangelical scholars love to let you know in various ways (subtle and not-so-subtle) just how prestigious they consider themselves.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical  argument is offered,  avoid discussing issues with denial they have any  credibility, make any  sense, provide any proof, contain or make a  point, have logic, or  support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum  effect.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars act incredulous when you demonstrate that their views are in conflict with the fundamentals of Scripture.  What, who me?  Why I am a good person who has a wonderful family!

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A  derivative of the straw  man usually, in any large-scale matter of high  visibility, someone will  make charges early on which can be or were  already easily dealt with.  Where it can be foreseen, have your own side  raise a straw man issue and  have it dealt with early on as part of the  initial contingency plans.  Subsequent charges, regardless of validity  or new ground uncovered, can  usually them be associated with the  original charge and dismissed as  simply being a rehash without need to  address current issues — so much  the better where the opponent is or  was involved with the original  source.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars relegate opposition views to the distant past that do not deserve renewed consideration.

11. Establish and rely  upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or  element of the facts,  take the “high road” and “confess” with candor  that some innocent  mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents  have seized on  the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and  imply greater  criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce  this on your  behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and  respect for  “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without  addressing  more serious issues.

Answer: Some critically influenced evangelical scholars have had to partially retract their views when someone has identified serious problems. 

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon  the overall umbrella of  events surrounding the crime and the multitude  of players and events,  paint the entire affair as too complex to  solve. This causes those  otherwise following the matter to begin to  loose interest more quickly  without having to address the actual  issues.

Answer: Critically-influenced evangelical scholars love complexity in answering the issues so as to ward off questioning of their own views.  Complexity is a great tactic to hide the truth.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the  issues by  reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way  that  forbears any actual material fact.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars either ignore views or say that no one follows any view that they personally disagree with.  The majority is OFTEN wrong in history.

14. Demand complete  solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents  to solve the crime  at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items  qualifying for  rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This  requires creative  thinking unless the crime was planned with  contingency conclusions in  place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars IGNORE any evidence that questions or refutes their suppositions.  They treat valid opposing arguments as non-existent or not worthy of their reference to them.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other   ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive   or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more   manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can   “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in   order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize,  Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do  anything else, chide  and taunt your opponents and draw them into  emotional responses which  will tend to make them look foolish and overly  motivated, and generally  render their material somewhat less coherent.  Not only will you avoid  discussing the issues in the first instance, but  even if their  emotional response addresses the issue, you can further  avoid the  issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to  criticism”.

Answer: Many critically-influenced evangelical scholars have quite the temper! Stories abound, especially when they interact with someone who would dare question their views!

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a   variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be   presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant   and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it  may  exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is   known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In   order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to   categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources,   deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by   government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues   designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as   useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This   works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the   purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered   investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and   effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion.   Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when   properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney,  it  can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the  evidence  is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a  favorable  verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the  guilty innocent,  but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking  to frame a  victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered  officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your  own expert(s), group(s),  author(s), leader(s) or influence existing  ones willing to forge new  ground via scientific, investigative, or  social research or testimony  which concludes favorably. In this way, if  you must actually address  issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be  working  to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media   coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news   stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24.  Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider   removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that   the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their   death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character   by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation   with blackmail or other threats.

Answer: Many evangelical critical-scholars actively campaign to shut down the voice of opposition. 

25. Vanish. If you are a key  holder of secrets or otherwise overly  illuminated and you think the  heat is getting too hot, to avoid the  issues, vacate the kitchen.

Answer:  So far, evangelical critical scholars have not.

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