Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
Originally Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression
by David Martin, author of America's
Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring
down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense,
other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends
heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition
Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.
Wax indignant. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.
Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If,
in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about
the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to
believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")
Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest
charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and
give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and
Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook,"
"crackpot," and of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily
loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending
the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully
avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.
For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.
Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly
that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing
a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated
adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).
Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can
be very useful.
Dismiss the charges as "old news."
Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking
the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor
and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal
"mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position
quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control,
the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully
Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately
Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly
rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We
have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma
City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so
there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme
involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report
Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. For example: If Vince
Foster was murdered, who did it and why?
Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing
Scantly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This
is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.
Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the
"facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.
Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals
and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and
to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job
who will pretend to spend their own money.
Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What
could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news
groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine
critics?" Don't the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers,
magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical
letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk
shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.
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Earlier versions of this page:
13 Techniques for Truth Suppression
14 Techniques for Truth Suppression
15 Techniques for Truth Suppression
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Many people who distrust the mainstream media have turned to alternate
news sources, some of which are Internet based. Unfortunately, many
of these alternate sources of news simply promote an alternate series
of lies. These alternate lies are of course dressed up as "exposés."
But you can easily tell the phonies from the real thing. The information
in the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum is an acid test.
Does your news source promote Mike McNulty's video, Waco: The Rules
of Engagement or wring its hands because the Davidian law suit against
the government failed? (See Waco
Documentary Is A Hoax! and Waco
Suits for Waco Suckers.)
Does your alternate news source carry promotional pieces about rebuilding
the Davidian church in Waco and mouth nice words about "healing"?
(See The Cover-up Church.)
Remember, since ancient times, inquiries into questionable deaths have
started with the bodies of the victims. If your news source won't
give you an honest and full account of the forensic information on Waco,
or if it does not have a link to the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum ...
your alternate news has failed a fundamental acid test.