Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s Propaganda Minister. It’s “Beyond Ironic” but we see his tactics everywhere today.
The Entrance to the Auschwitz Death Camp
The Nazis are often credited with turning the art of propaganda into a science. Joseph Goebbels summarized his techniques in a famous list that was found among his papers after the war. Here I have taken the basic ideas and expressed them in a manner fitting the digital age.1 These techniques form the core of what came to be called psychological warfare. You will recognize all of these. You just didn’t realize it was all planned.
Simplification and a Unique Enemy: Create a simple, unique brand identity. Do the same for your main enemy. Make it easy to understand—reduce complexities. Collect all enemies into a single identity for easy assault. Label everyone who opposes you as a fascist, racist, homophobe, science denier, anti-vaxxer, etc.
Unified Force: Have clearly defined objectives and fight hard against your single enemy.
Deflection: Charge your enemies with errors, defects, and faults. Blame someone else. Deflect all attacks on yourself or your narrative onto your enemies. Attack their credibility, replace their facts with your “facts.” Truth is irrelevant.
Exaggeration: A big lie is easier to sell than a small lie. Inflate any anecdote or fact to create fear in people so you can manipulate them. Then propose your solution as the only reasonable option.
Vulgarization: Everything must be presented in simple language and ideas, directed to the least intelligent and educated person. Avoid all complexity, nuance, subtlety, and technicality. Appeal to emotion, not intellect. Use slogans, not analysis. Social media helps this tremendously because it is impossible to communicate complex ideas in a tweet.
Repetition: A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. The same narrative must be repeated over and over on TV, radio, and social media. If people hear it often enough, they will stop questioning it. Be the first to present your narrative and overwhelm all opposition with the volume of your propaganda.
Reinforcement: Your message must be constantly renewed and updated—the same message in a slightly different format. Bombard people with new images and information that reinforce the message. This must occur daily—hourly is better.
Many Voices: Transmit your message through many different people and media, from many different perspectives: TV, radio, social media, newspaper, movies, popular music, art, theater, etc. Every message comes to the same conclusion, supporting your narrative. “Everyone is thinking this, so it must be true.”
Silencing: Silence all narratives other than your own—censorship. If someone cannot be removed, discredit them. Isolate dissenters as idiots, paid enemy propagandists, threats to society, conspiracy theorists, Big Oil apologists, climate deniers, racists, etc.
Association: Exploit people by attaching your message to their existing beliefs, biases, and feelings. For example, “All compassionate people will agree with me. Only selfish people (or fascists, racists, etc.) will disagree with me.” Associate your message with qualities people associate with themselves so they will identify with your narrative. Use existing terms and movements. Thus, we see terms like social justice, equality, and inclusion taken over and associated with our narrative. We tar our opponents by associating them with terms like racist, bigot, sexist, etc.
Unanimity: Create the impression that everyone agrees with your narrative. “95 percent of scientists agree.” “The American Medical Association agrees.” Therefore, only a fool would disagree.
You must have noticed that all public discussion today follows this pattern of propaganda. It’s Beyond Ironic that millions of people died in WWII to defeat the forces of totalitarianism, yet it has risen from the grave to consume our whole world.
Just as Jesus said, seek the truth, and the truth will set you free!
God Bless You!
1. I have modified the ideas first presented by: María Andrea Gomez Torrealba in her article, “Joseph Goebbels’ Principles of Nazi Propaganda applied to Digital Marketing,”Visionar (September 6, 2017).
PS: My upcoming book will explain lots more about what’s really going on. What the Hell Is Going On? – The Web of Fraud That Is Enslaving Everyone and How We Can Escape to Freedom will be available in September. I will keep you posted!
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