- Note: The first rule and last five (or
six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the
ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally
used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning
level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.
- 1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak
no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if
you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't
happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
- 2. Become incredulous and indignant.
Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can
be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group
or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.
- 3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing
issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere
rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive
of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent
press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through
such "arguable rumors". If you can associate the material with
the Internet, use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which
can have no basis in fact.
- 4. Use a straw man. Find or create a
seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock
down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make
up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of
the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect
of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in
a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike,
while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
- 5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling
and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy,
though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents
with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right-wing",
"liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy
buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists",
"religious fanatics", "sexual deviates", and so forth.
This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label,
and you avoid dealing with issues.
- 6. Hit and Run. In any public forum,
make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then
scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer.
This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments
where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having
to explain criticism reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack,
never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for
that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.
- 7. Question motives. Twist or amplify
any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of
a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and
forces the accuser on the defensive.
- 8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself
or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough
"jargon" and "minutiae" to illustrate you are "one
who knows", and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or
demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
- 9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence
or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they
have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make
a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
- 10. Associate opponent charges with
old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter
of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or
were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own
side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of
the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity
or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original
charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current
issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with
the original source.
- 11. Establish and rely upon fall-back
positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the "high
road" and "confess" with candor that some innocent mistake,
in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity
to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which,
"just isn't so." Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later.
Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for "coming clean"
and "owning up" to your mistakes without addressing more serious
- 12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing
upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude
of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve.
This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest
more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
- 13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid
discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive
logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
- 14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid
the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely,
a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
- 15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.
This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency
conclusions in place.
- 16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses.
If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the
- 17. Change the subject. Usually in connection
with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion
with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to
a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions
who can "argue" with you over the new topic and polarize the
discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
- 18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad
Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents
and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look
foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat
less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first
instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you
can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how "sensitive they
are to criticism".
- 19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible
proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the "play dumb" rule. Regardless
of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim
the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent
to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something
which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon).
In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically
deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses
are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other
authorities have any meaning or relevance.
- 20. False evidence. Whenever possible,
introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with
opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or
impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies
for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
- 21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor,
or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit
and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion.
Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when
properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it
can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence
is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable
verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent,
but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim)
is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
- 22. Manufacture a new truth. Create
your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing
ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social
research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must
actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
- 23. Create bigger distractions. If the
above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or
to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials,
create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
- 24. Silence critics. If the above methods
do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive
solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can
be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their
character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation
with blackmail or other threats.
- 25. Vanish. If you are a key holder
of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting
too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.