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NEW GASLAMP Daily Gaslight Part 3 in a series of posts that focus primarily on Cambridge Analytica, Part 3 makes a slight detour to: “discuss the difference between propaganda and gaslighting and why this matters when considering GE2019 Election Fraud.” In an analysis of Propaganda we are reminded that: “Truth is not the absence of propaganda; propaganda thrives in presenting different kinds of truth, including half truths, incomplete truths, limited truths, out of context truths.”
One particular statement about Propaganda encapsulated the devious agenda of the Leave Campaign and the malign influence of the controlling protagonists of Brexit now ensconced in number 10: “Propaganda is not so much designed to change opinions so much as reinforce existing opinions, prejudices, attitudes.” But then, despite the firm belief that I am not easily swayed, there was a line that resonated with my own personal experience: “The most successful propaganda will lead people to action or inaction through reinforcement of what people already believe to be true.”
I was reminded of my first crewing job aboard a sailing yacht heading from Antibes to Corsica. It was a wet and rough windward passage and I felt really queasy at the helm of the 48’ Hinckley on night watch as we longingly searched for the light that marked the northern tip of Corsica. It was such a relief to see the light that the core details of the light’s characteristics were glossed over in the determination to just head for the lighthouse. Imagine our disappointment as we approached and were forced to realize that the pattern of flashes was completely wrong. Cold and tired, we were so convinced that it must be our light that our whole perception of what we were looking at had changed to meet our eager expectations.
We are all equally capable of falling victim to persuasive messages or concepts that we are eager and waiting to embrace. Beyond extending the length of our voyage, no harm befell us due to this error, but it was an important lesson learned. No matter how much we might want to deny it, we are all susceptible to certain propaganda messages at some point. The illegal data mining of Facebook accounts provided enough information for Cambridge Analytica to know precisely what customized messages would engage which targeted recipients. We imagine that all of those messages stoked bigotry and fear of migrants, but the truth is we have no idea. A person passionate about something as innocuous as animal welfare might have received a totally different type of message with an equally corrosive item of Fake News, we just don’t know.
This GasLamp post offers tools to help recognise the common features of this deceptive strategy in order to effectively combat its toxic influence. Despite the admission that: “propaganda is a powerful tool which can be used for good or ill,” our decision making should include an evaluation of “cui bono: who benefits?” This statement offers hope for the future because clearer mandatory declarations of who is funding political messages, no matter what medium they are delivered through, will shine a valuable spotlight on how obscenely wealthy people are manipulating our voting choices for their own material gain.
Another tactic that was flagged up was the overly simplistic messaging like: “take back control” or “get Brexit done” it was stated that these deceptively basic slogans had: “only one purpose: to hide complexity and realities.” I would add to that theme the age old saying: “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!” With Brexit it was huge trade deals that would be done and dusted within a few months; during the election it was the equally incredulous “40 New Hospitals!” In reality those future trade negotiations will take years to materialize and despite the absence of funding, impossible construction logistics and a distinct lack of NHS staf, Boris Johnson has his team of spineless sycophants were caught on camera chanting his “40 new Hospitals” lie.
Part 3 concludes with a list of “warning signs” to help identify Gaslighting. To make the listed warning signs relevant to the recent 2019 Election the GasLamp provides a set of: “examples in the past where Gaslighting has been carried out, preparing the ground to make propaganda effective.” There is no doubt that every one of the listed tactics was used in the UK electoral. In my estimation the most alarming and distressing of these sample deliberate deceptions was perpetrated by our state broadcaster the BBC in direct violation on the Purdah political neutrality rules. This gross injustice will never end unless you decide to take decisive action.
Two online Petitions have now joined forces in an attempt to hold the BBC to account so please visit their Joint Petition; Sign Here.
Few people have fought so hard and endured so much to give voice to courageous Whistleblowers, than the Journalist and political prisoner, Julian Assange, held in Belmarsh prison awaiting extradition to the US. Please sign the Petition to Free Julian Assange. For all of the vitally important reasons to “Rescue our Watchdog” because All Votes Must Count, please read, sign, share and Link to this Petition: 2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION.