The Big Lie – Propaganda Principle #1

Always choose the big lie over the small; the masses will believe it more readily.

Introduction to Propaganda

  • Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.  Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda [1]
  • People cannot accept that propaganda works when they cannot accept that propaganda works on them.
  • To believe yourself above the influence of propaganda, is to become more susceptible to propaganda. [2]
  • One must become aware of propaganda, its limitations, its strengths, its influence, and its persuasive qualities,
    if one is to master it. To say that one is free of the influence of propaganda is a sure sign of its pervasive existence in society. [2]
  • The nine principles of propaganda support each other synergistically. Rarely, if ever, will any single principle appear in isolation.

Other reports and items of interest:
The Nine Principles of Propaganda SLIDE SHOW.
The Nine Principles of Counterpropaganda begins HERE.
The Nine Principles of Counterpropaganda SLIDE SHOW.
Trump – Our Psychopathic President begins HERE.
For a double-sided PDF copy of the principles of propaganda and counterpropaganda go HERE.
For a double-sided PDF copy of the twelve criteria of psychopathy go HERE.

The Ordinary Lie, the Big Lie

Everyone lies. Everyone. We tell ourselves and others small lies. As highly social creatures we learn that others also tell similar small lies. We learn to tell lies, to hear lies and to watch for the lies of others. But we are not prepared to tell big lies or to recognize big lies when we encounter them. We lack the audacity to tell big lies, the expectation that others will believe them, and the ability to imagine ourselves getting away with it. This is normal. Such lack of audacity and fear of retribution is a sign of our normality. It is also a chink in our armor. The big lie blows right through all our ordinary psychological defenses against the ordinary little lie. We cannot believe that someone would be so audacious and fearless as to say what they just said if it were not true. Therefore their lie must be true. Even if not completely true, it must have some basis in fact, for “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

We fail to recognize that their audacity and fearlessness are defects, that such liars are damaged human beings. Rather, we grudgingly admire them, mistaking their audacity and fearlessness for independence and courage. We envy their fearlessness. But neuroscientists are now focusing on the role of the brain’s amygdala in generating our normal feelings of fear. Fear serves a distinct purpose; it alerts us of threats to our survival. Evolutionary success is all about surviving and leaving offspring. Animals lacking fear take unnecessary risks, die young and leave fewer offspring. Our fearful ancestors avoided danger, produced more offspring and here we are, highly social animals capable of lying and detecting lies, and feeling fear, courage, admiration and envy. Necessary, yet insufficient, social qualities. They leave a gap for those who – lacking a properly functioning and communicating amygdala – are unconscionable and fearless liars. Through the vagaries of birth, genes, or environment, they appear and they succeed by, in effect, preying on the rest of us.

Adolf Hitler creates the concept of große Lüge, the “Big Lie.”

“All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”  —  Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X, James Murphy Translation [3][4][5]

Lead Page of OSS Psychological Analysis of Adolf Hitler (CIA.com public document)

The phrase “big lie” was also used in a report prepared during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency) in describing Hitler’s psychological profile.

“His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”  —  OSS Archives – A Psychological Analysis of Adolf Hitler:  His Life and Legend, by Walter C. Langer, with collaboration by Henry Murray, Ernst Kris and Bertram Lewin. [6]

Techniques Supporting the Big Lie (fromPropaganda Techniques)

  • The more outrageous the lie, the more weight it will carry.
  • Strongly assert the lie.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • Massage available data to “prove” the lie as being true.
  • Reframe their vigorous denial as proof of guilt.
  • Accuse those about whom you lie of lying about you.
  • Spread “peremptory lies” to discredit others before they have a chance to defend themselves or accuse you.
  • Be first to throw the mud; it will stick.
  • Always accuse, never doubt, never admit to lying or error. Many people remember and continue to believe your false charges because “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” When presented with proof of falsehood, many people quickly believe the initial lie even more strongly.
  • Many conspiracy theorists, proud of their own “skepticism,” which is actually “denialism,” accept low-probability unsupported big lies while rejecting high-probability supported facts.

The Big Lie in Practice

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” — Attributed to Adolf Hitler [1]

“…the rabid, impudent bias and persistence with which this lie was expressed took into account the emotional, always extreme, attitude of the great masses and for this reason was believed. — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume I, Chapter VI, Par. 46 [7]

“I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital. While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the [312] babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.” — Daughter of Kuwait’s Ambassador to U.S., 10-10-90.  Wikipedia – Nayirah testimony

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Attributed to Joseph Goebbels [1]

“When Obama was sworn into office, he DID NOT use the Bible but instead the Kuran…” — Chain email, 12-20-07. Politifact.com Truth-o-Meter

“ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, okay? He is the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.” — Donald Trump,  8-10-16. Snopes.com

“The unemployment rate is probably 20 percent, but I will tell you, you have some great economists that will tell you it’s a 30, 32. And the highest I’ve heard so far is 42 percent.” — Donald Trump,  Iowa rally 9-28-15. Politifact.com Truth-o-Meter

“We know where they [weapons of mass destruction] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” — Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, March 2003. MediaMatters.org

“I served with John Kerry. He is lying about his record.” — Al French, Ensign, Vietnam, 2 Bronze Stars — Statement, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Ad  [Al French did not serve with Kerry.] PatriotFiles.com

“John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. I know. I was there. I saw what happened.” — Van O’Dell, Gunners Mate, 2nd Class, Vietnam, —  Statement, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Ad  [Van O’Dell did not serve with Kerry.] PatriotFiles.com

“God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” — Bailey Smith, President of Southern Baptist Convention —  Religious Roundtable National Affairs Briefing, 8-22-80 JTA.org

If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things.” — Attributed to Adolf Hitler, quoted in A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression and Absolute Power by D. Jablow Hershman. (Page 185) – WikiQuotes Mein Kampf [8]

Trump’s Birther Campaign

Obama released his Hawaiian “short-form” birth certificate in June, 2008
“I have people that have been studying [Obama’s birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they’re finding … I would like to have him show his birth certificate, and can I be honest with you, I hope he can. Because if he can’t, if he can’t, if he wasn’t born in this country, which is a real possibility … then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.” NBC’s “Today” show, 4-7-11 [9]
Obama released the “long form” birth certificate on 4-25-11
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 8-6-12 [9]
In 2016 Trump changes his story without apology or admission of his own errors and lies
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Period.” After Washington D.C. campaign event, 9-16-16 [9]
But Trump can’t end a five-year-long series of lies without at least one additional lie
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008, started the birther controversy. I finished it.” Same news conference 9-16-16 [10]
Politifact.com proves Trump’s last statement to be false.
“False. There is no evidence to support [Trump’s) claim [that Hillary Clinton or anyone in her campaign had anything to do with the birther controversy].” — Politifact’s Truth-O-meter, 9-16-16 [11]

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” — Donald Trump, Candidacy announcement 6-16-15 FoxNews.com

“In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.” — Donald Trump, on Melania’s nude photos – New York Post, 7-31-16 AceShowBiz.com
[Fashionable and common? Decide for yourself.]  http://leakedpie.com/first-lady-melania-trump-posed-nude/]

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” — George W. Bush, State of the Union Speech, January, 2003. [12] [Known to be untrue by the administration at the time, they later acknowledged that these “16 words” should not have been in the speech.] CNN.com

“No collusion!” — Donald Trump, an uncountable number of times, across all media

“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” — Matthew 23:24 New King James Version

Popular Big Lies of the George W. Bush era

  • Iraq attacked us; we retaliated.
  • Saddam’s sons fed people into wood chippers.
  • God loves us and hates them.
  • Liberals are damned.

Other reports and items of interest:
The Nine Principles of Propaganda SLIDE SHOW.
The Nine Principles of Counterpropaganda begins HERE.
The Nine Principles of Counterpropaganda SLIDE SHOW.
Trump – Our Psychopathic President begins HERE.
For a double-sided PDF copy of the principles of propaganda and counterpropaganda go HERE.
For a double-sided PDF copy of the twelve criteria of psychopathy go HERE.

Also in this series:

Focus – Propaganda Principle #2
Repeat – Propaganda Principle #3
Blame – Propaganda Principle #4
Provoke – Propaganda Principle #5
Crisis – Propaganda Principle #6
Emotional Symbols – Propaganda Principle #7
Pander – Propaganda Principle #8
No Limits – Propaganda Principle #9

Other Blogs:

Trump – Our Psychopathic President – Part 1 of 6
By the Slimmest of Margins – The October Surprise of 2016
Trump Foundation Illegalities

Sources:

  1. The numerous on-line sources for quotes (AZQuotes.com, etc.) rarely properly cite the source (written source, date & location for spoken source). Quotes ascribed to Nazis such as Hitler and Goebbels – now numbering into the millions on the web – sound like something they might have said, but they don’t provide proper citations. Despite this, such quotes are often succinct compressions of the alleged speaker’s actual sentiments, expressed elsewhere less concisely.
  2. Jacques Ellul, (1973). Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. New York :Vintage Books. Retrieved 8-5-18 from: Snow, Dr. Nancy. (No date). “Ten Things you need to know about Propaganda.” http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Nancy_Snow/10ThingsNeedKnowPropaganda.html
  3. Cited in Wikipedia article on Big Lie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
  4. Hitler, Adolf. (1925). Mein Kampf. James Murphy translation. (1939). London: Hurst and Blackett, Ltd. Vol. I, Chapter X. Retrieved from: Project Gutenberg Australia archive text file copy of complete text of both volumes. http://web.archive.org/web/20080724025441/http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200601.txt
  5. Hitler, Adolf. (1925). Mein Kampf. Ralf Manheim translation. (1943) Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Vol. I, Chapter X. Complete translation is online, each chapter has its own page. Retrieved from: http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch10.html
  6. OSS Archives – A Psychological Analysis of Adolf Hitler:  His Life and Legend, page 46 (PDF page 38). Walter C. Langer, with collaboration by Henry Murray, Ernst Kris and Bertram Lewin. http://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78-02646R000600240001-5.pdf
  7. Hitler, Adolf. (1925). Mein Kampf. Ralf Manheim translation. (1943) Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Vol. I, Chapter VI. Complete translation is online, each chapter has its own page. Retrieved from: http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch06.html
  8. Wikiquotes – Mein Kampf.  http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mein_Kampf#not_yet_placed_by_chapter
  9. Krieg, Gregory. (2016, Sep. 16). “14 of Trump’s most outrageous ‘birther’ claims – half from after 2011.” Retrieved 8-4-18 from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/donald-trump-birther/index.html
  10. Ye Hee Lee, Michelle. (2016, May 6). “The Washington Post fact checker: Donald Trump’s ridiculous claim that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.” Retrieved 8-4-18 from WashingtonPost.com: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/05/06/donald-trumps-ridiculous-claim-that-hillary-clinton-started-the-birther-movement/?utm_term=.50c03750edd2
  11. Politifact.com: “Fact-checking Donald Trump’s claim Hillary Clinton started birther movement.”  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/sep/16/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-claim-hillary-clinton-/
  12. Wikipedia – Niger Uranium Forgeries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries#%22Sixteen_Words%22_controversy_in_2003_State_of_the_Union

Online source of quotes with citations:
WikiQuotes – Adolf Hitler
WikiQuotes – Mein Kampf

Online source of quotes not properly cited:
AZQuotes – Adolf Hitler
AZ Quotes – Joseph Goebbels
Brainy Quote – Adolf Hitler
End Times Prophecy Report – Propaganda, The Big Lie and Adolf Hitler
Good Reads – Adolf Hitler
Great Quotes – Adolf Hitler
Quotes-The Famous People – Adolf Hitler
Quote Sigma – Adolf Hitler
Search Quotes – Adolf Hitler

 

 

 

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