The Psychology of Propaganda in the Media

We are bombarded on a daily basis with persuasive arguments. Understanding how to assess these arguments is critical to insure that the population is well informed on important issues. Two routes of persuasion have been identified, central and peripheral(Petty and Caccioppo, 1986).

An example of the central route would be of a chess master recommending a move to someone. They base the move off of logic which assesses all of the pieces on the board. The central route is based off of facts.

An example of a peripheral route would be when Bill O'Reilly throws around words such as anti-patriotic when he attacks someone like Rosie O'Donnell. The peripheral route relies upon influencing individuals emotions through cue words, attractiveness of the person proposing the argument(the only thing Michelle Malkin has going for her), or citing quantity over quality ( "50 experts said so!" vs. "1 expert" where the 1 expert is using quality arguments and the 50 are using weak arguments.).

De-Bunkers can't help it

I wrote this letter to the BBC in protest of their obvious propaganda piece against the social dis-order group known as 9/11 truth.
I thought it would make for intersting discussion into the motivations and why some people can not bring themselves to question the convential
wisdom of the 9/11 myth. Interestingly if you read Freakonomics, the author makes a point about convential wisdom, that also hits on the same theme,
it goes something like this:

Convential wisdom does not and most of the time is not the absolute truth, it is a version of true that most people can understand.

Here is my letter,

Dear Mr. Smith

Why ask something if you already KNOW the answer?

You see the power to conform is so powerful that well meaning people like yourselves will rationalize actions and decisions on the subconscious level to
avoid asking questions that go against these powerful forces to conform.

Here is an Interesting analogy:
Did you know how a flock of birds all decide at once which way to fly, some scientist have even proposed theories that birds have a mental telepathy,

Letter to Peter Michaelson

I wrote this in response to Peter Michaelson's essay at Buzzflash.

Mr. Michaelson,

I agree that there are an infinite number of ways to
seek power, and that not all of them are rational.
However, I believe you're being sloppy or myopic when
you suggest that conspiracy theorists are given a
false sense of security when they cling to irrational
beliefs. Having read a number of articles and books
on the subject of US complicity in the attacks of 9/11
I would argue that taking the notion seriously brings
on a sense of anxiety and not security. I think that
would be the normal reaction to that belief system.

In any case, whatever a person's motives may be for
believing this or that fact or theory doesn't have any
impact on the truth value of the fact or theory. In
the case of 911 conspiracies I believe that there are
many facts that lead to believing that the US was
complicit. The August 6th memo, dozens of foriegn
intelligence warnings, and the most recent revelations
about Tenet's meetings with Rice and Rumsfeld on the
subject establish that the Administration had

9/11 Survey

To better understand the psychology behind 9/11 denial - that is, the psychology behind those who still believe the official fairy tale about 9/11 - I'm doing a survey. The survey seeks responses both from people who do and those who do not believe the official version.

If you're not sure why psychology may be important to spreading 9/11 truth, watch this interview with Watergate-whistleblower and former White House counsel John Dean; and see this essay.

I am not a psychologist or sociologist. However, I know some very high-level folks in these fields who are 9/11 truthers. Once I compile the data, I'll get it to them, so that they can figure out whether there is a more effective way to reach the large sector of the American public who still buys into the 9/11 fairy tell as told by the 9/11 Commission.

This survey is totally anonymous. Email your responses to, and I will destroy the personal information and email after I count your response data. You can always use a one-time webmail address to send me responses. (Please don't post your responses below, as this will probably lead to a childish thread. Instead, please limit this thread to comments about the survey questions themselves,and the worth of gaining psychological and sociological insight into people who accept the 9/11 Commission's story.)

Paranoid Shift.

Whether you are a 9/11 Truther responding to the clear attack that labels the movement as a bunch of deluded kooks or you must react to the more subtle critique that the movement simply forges conclusions of conspiracy from a set of innocuous or unrelated circumstantial bits of evidence (, I believe this 2004 essay provides a solid response that, yes, we may be paranoid, AND there is a damn good reason for it. It is the best explanation of 9/11 Truth psychology that I have read and has only been buttressed by more chunks of evidence of governmental complicity since Michael Hasty drafted it.

Audio: Aldous Huxley: The Ultimate Revolution

Aldous Huxley: The Ultimate Revolution

(March 20, 1962) - A recorded lecture in which the author of Brave New World discusses using terrorism to create willing slaves out of the population.

Also see:

  • The Psychology Behind Mass Subservience to Tyranny
    "Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harderthan a fear of sudden death."
    - Adolf Hitler