June 17, 2015

DIY - Find the Truth!


Almost every time I burst the bubbles of comforting misinformation of people I meet, telling them we cannot trust the Western media to tell us the truth, they challenge me with the question 'How do you think you can trust the alternatives?' Or they pose related questions challenging the fact that I'm emphatic over the deceptions of the media. So, in this essay... 
I want to lay out the reasons why I can be sure the Western press is lying, and how I go about determining the truth (at least, as closely as possible).
And I suppose it's necessary to go back a step and inform the reader that the communications media in the Western world are neither independent nor in the business of providing factual information. If this is heresy for you, then you really need a reality check (refer to Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent' for more insight on the subject). If you're younger than 30, you probably don't know that in days of yore, the media actually did 'investigative journalism,' whereby they dug below the surface of official accounts, and often uncovered malfeasance that would have escaped the legal process.

Below, I present the methods I use to discern truth from lies in the news. In using these principles, one will also be able to recognize that the 'mainstream media' have a concerted agenda to shape the beliefs and values of the public.

1. The 'news media' are not in the business you think they are!
We (in the 'West') have been conditioned from birth to believe that the media (radio, TV, newspapers, newsmagazines) must be telling us 'the facts' (ie. truth). All our authority figures-- parents, teachers, pastors, politicians-- take it as a 'given' that anything in the news can be simply assumed to be true.

Yet this assumption is highly dubious. We believe it because it's a consensus; and because in the past, prior to the Internet, all of our easily-accessed sources stated largely the same thing on any given story. During the 1990s, there was a major consolidation of the communications media so that today some 96% of news sources are owned by only 6 companies. These corporations are run by similar-thinking directors who share a common interest in shaping public perceptions. (See Chomsky, for e.g.).

You can quickly find on the Internet (Youtube, to be precise) hilarious videos showing newscasters from a dozen 'different' TV stations all repeating exactly the same words, verbatim, on a selected story, showing clearly it had to come from the same origin.

The 'MSM' (mainstream media, the handful of biggies) really act as shapers of public opinion and group-think, advancing a corporate agenda towards materialism, atheism, scientism, patriotism, paranoia, and a range of other outlooks conducive to their interests. They achieve their goals by a variety of mass psychology manipulations mostly adopted from Edward Bernays' work on propaganda.

For instance, they introduce ideas that may be outrageous at first, then by constant repetition and reinforcement, they become normalized in the public mind (case in point: homosexuality). Since the media are the gate-keepers of informaiton, they wield tremendous power merely in selecting what stories they include in what you see. For every 'fact' they let you know, there are a dozen they withhold because they could compromise the desired premise.
Similarly, every external expert (the 'talking heads') that the MSM interview in connection to a story has been vetted to ensure he/she supports the desired viewpoint. Any guest who manages to contradict the official line is summarily shouted down and cut off.

And another big weapon the MSM uses continually is distraction. There's always a juicy scandal among the celebrity class that can be trotted out and bandied in our faces for a week or so, all while something truly important is going on, under the public radar. (Think Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, the Kardashians, Miley Cyrus, the royals, etc. etc.) Do they inform us about the things that could really impact our lives, like TPP, who started ISIL, Israeli control of Congress, and on it goes?

If any of the above is 'news' to you, then, sorry, but you really need to start paying attention to how your favorite source is presenting its so-called news every day. It could be life-changing!

2. Find Alternative news sources
Once you free yourself of the notion that our media are providing truth, then you need to find other sources of information. Thanks to the Internet (so far!) it is easy to find many alternative sources of news. In fact, it's too easy! There are so many sources that some searchers throw up their hands in dismay and say 'It's impossible to determine who is presenting truth and who is not, in this babble of voices.'

That kind of dismay is a cop-out. This plethora of sources is really a benefit for anyone willing to put in a little effort towards finding truth for our times. By looking at several sources, you can notice discrepancies, find concurrences, and look for consistency. Especially when two 'antagonistic' sources agree on details, you can be more confident in the story. After a while, you will recognize the biases of the different sites, and learn which are more trustworthy on a particular subject.

3. Read The international press
Many countries have excellent English-language news websites, often publishing well-qualified, native-English-speaking writers who cannot get published in the Western press because their views are at odds with the 'party line' proclaimed by the anonymous 'powers that be.' These are sources the enquirer should be consulting for views that are not constrained by the group-think of the oligarchical Western media outlets. You will quickly discover many facts that our media are NOT telling us about the wide world out there. The glaring omissions of often important details is itself a red-flag indictment of the conniving nature of our mainstream media.

4. Use your common sense!
This is a tall order, I acknowledge, but it's essential for people today to stop letting others pre-digest and spoon-feed them their information. It's well-known by now that the Bush administration fabricated 'evidence' to justify the Iraq invasion, yet at the time, virtually all the media simply repeated it as given. If they willingly repeated lies in 2003, then why should you keep believing them today? When the official, media narrative starts morphing from one story-line to another, over time (as was glaringly the case with why the US/NATO invaded Afghanistan) then, surely, your gut instincts should start smelling a rat! Once upon a time, the press conducted investigations of stories; today they just regurgitate official pap.

Our whole education system strives to exterminate our innate common sense, replacing it with so-called science (the whore of big business) and reliance on the pronouncements of external, ivory-tower experts. Instead of following our instincts, we let authority figures define our reality-- no matter how ludicrous their suggestions. You doubt this? By now, everyone has seen the twin towers of NYC collapse at free-fall speed-- which could only happen by pre-planned demolition-- yet millions of Americans (mostly) still swallow the nonsense that it was caused by airliners crashing into the structures.

5. Exercise your memory!
Another big task. The authorities count on the fact that most people cannot remember events, especially the details, beyond a week or so. Those who recall the Vietnam War, for example, could compare it to the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War, etc. They would notice the similarities, the futility of the whole thing, the needless deaths of soldiers, the mass deaths of innocent civilians, and the huge sums of money spent on weapons. What was the point of the Vietnam conflict? Any ideas?

Exercise of memory would make it obvious when the MSM is using its tricks; for example, they report certain details in the immediate aftermath of a 'terrorist incident,' and then the next day those details disappear, or are substantially altered, replaced by a new version of the Matrix. This happens far more often than you think. It's pure Orwell, but most people never notice.

Today we have the advantage of the Internet and computers to assist our feeble memories. When you see a curious story, often appearing on only one network, it's easy to copy the page and save it to your hard-drive (don't just bookmark the page) for future reference. When you notice the MSM flush the details down the memory-hole, you'll still have the original version.

The media like to use this memory function to their full advantage, pulling up past miscues of targetted politicians or troublesome individuals for ridicule. By the same token, they hide other information that pokes holes in their official outlook. You can't let the media supply your memories; you've got to do it yourself!

6. Ask questions!
Today, what's the point of the endless wars in the Middle East and beyond? Are we really more secure? Who really gains? As no. 5 demonstrates, it's vital for a truth-seeker to ask the hard questions. Too often, people just swallow the packaged story from the media, without reflection. If they have questions, it's far easier to put them aside with the presumption that 'they' (the experts) must have it under control, so why get too concerned. Another example: with the vast sums of money spent on a plethora of 'security agencies,' why do 'terrorists' still slip thru the net and cause chaos?... Or, are they really terrorists; couldn't these incidents be set-ups?

We have been programmed from birth to accept the dictums of remote experts and authorities whose interests may be quite opposed to ours. The fact that a news medium regards itself as the 'newspaper of note' in its field (e.g. the WSJ, the NYT, the WP) does not mean it can be trusted implicitly to deliver truth! Who owns these media outlets, who do they support politically, and what are their views on the world? That famous question, 'Cui bono?' (Who benefits?) all too often leads us back to the truth, since everything comes down to money and power in this world.

Once you become sensitized to asking questions, it's amazing to analyze the MSM interviewers doing their job. You see how selective their questions are; asking them just in the right way to encourage the answers they want. Often, the professionals avoid asking the really troublesome questions, and if they do, they are too easily satisfied with glib responses.

Again, we cannot be lackadaisical. The importance of asking questions regarding media assertions cannot be over-emphasized.

7. Look for the 'fruit,' the outcomes, the hard facts that emerge over time.
The Western media assured us of the great benefits that we'd be bringing to countries like Iraq, and Afghanistan, by invading their sovereign territory and replacing their governments with 'Western democracy.' Today, those countries lie in ruins, tens of thousands of citizens have died, similar numbers have been displaced, depleted uranium from US weapons has polluted the air, water, and human gene-pool, the infrastructure is still broken... How wonderful is that? The same media told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; none were found. They tell us that the Russians are aggressively confronting NATO in 'Eastern Europe;' no hard evidence is ever presented, it's all insinuation.

They do not explain why it's fine for the US/NATO to build bases on Russia's borders while it would be denounced as an act of war if Russia were to try and build a base in Mexico or the Caribbean. The media play up 'popular uprisings' in selected countries; they do not tell us that these insurrections were financed and instigated by the likes of George Soros, using his fortune to establish phoney pro-democracy agencies.

As I write, the Western media are all against Russia and especially, Putin. They present a totally distorted view of the regime in Ukraine, never mentioning the ouster of a legally-elected president in favor of a puppet, Nazi leader installed by Western/US treachery. The media actively promote aggression against Russia as if Russia were another of the impoverished, poorly-equipped nations that were invaded and destroyed in the past century by 'Western interests.' They seem to be oblivious to the immense consequences of provoking a modern, nuclear-armed, well-equipped power that has proven, multiple times, that it will not capitulate to boorish bully-tactics.

Those are merely a few examples to illustrate how our media behave as nothing more than the Ministry of Propaganda for Western/US governments.

Conclusion
Orwell had it right on, even to the revision of history, and to the use of 'newspeak'-- a diminished and euphemistic vocabulary introduced to limit the range of thinking. It's all being done openly by the hidden manipulators of society using their indispensible tools-- the pervasive communications media, and the persuasive powers of 'Big Brother' authority figures who define the Reality Matrix for the mesmerized masses.

These seven principles of analyzing media should be exercised by all 'consumers of news,' every citizen, to gain the best chance of finding truth in this world of artificial reality. Only then will the populace be able to see that we are not truly free, but merely have the illusion of freedom. From that point, it's a long and winding road to true freedom. But it's a journey that everyone must begin if this race is to survive.

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