"A huge lie, when repeated often enough so that every man hears it and repeats it, becomes truth," or as Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels insisted, "If a lie is repeated often enough, then the majority will believe it in the end." The 1927 book 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler stated, "The skilful and unremitting use of propaganda can persuade people to believe that Heaven is Hell, or conversely, that the most miserable existence is Paradise." "The very sound principle," Adolf argued, "a definite factor in getting a lie believed is the size of the lie...for the broad mass of the people in the primitive simplicity of its heart more readily falls victim to a big lie than to a small one." 

Edwin Widmer elaborated in 1964, "One of the lessons which dictators and demagogues of every kind have learned throughout history is that a small lie or distortion will generally be exposed, while a great big lie will often go unchallenged. The very audacity of a big lie seems to give it undue credibility. The reaction seems to be, 'That's so absurd, no one would say it if it weren't true.' And so it is accepted. The big lie also has other advantages. It attracts attention, where the truth (or even a small lie) would go unnoticed. There is little gain in naming as a criminal someone whose record shows that he is a criminal. But if you select someone whose reputation is unsullied, who is evidently upright and honest and good, and call him a criminal, you'll get attention. What's more, some people will believe you. Fortunately for mankind, however, big lies, like little ones usually are revealed for what they are in the end." 

It was pointed out in 1951, "A parrot can talk. But he can only say the things he had heard! Human conversation is not so far removed from parrot-talk as we might like to believe. We too base most of our conversation on the things we have heard. But we digest thoughts that have been given us, consider them, make them our own, and then repeat them in our own words. And yet, unlike the parrots, we influence others by the gift of speech. Our words can brighten or darken the lives of many people. The God who has given us the gift of speech has also given us access to truth. The spiritual knowledge we gain as we worship and study in our churches is the key to what the Bible calls 'a holy conversation'. And that doesn’t mean using pious phrases! It means using the gift of speech to help, rather than hurt, ourselves and others." 

It was taught, "The Church is the greatest factor on earth for the building of character and good citizenship. It is a storehouse of spiritual values. Without a strong Church neither democracy nor civilization can survive. There are 4 sound reasons why every person should attend services regularly and support the Church. They are (1) For his own sake; (2) For his children's sake; (3) For the sake of his community and nation; (4) For the sake of the Church itself which needs his moral and material support."

Wiliam Jennings Bryan wrote in the magazine section of The Sunday Press Illustrated in 1913, "Religious theme is the most universal of all themes...I am interested in the science of government but I would rather speak on religion than on politics...Government affects but a part of the life which we live here and does not deal at all with the life beyond, while religion touches the infinite circle of existence as well as the small arc of that circle which we spend on earth. No greater theme, therefore, can engage our attention.

"Man is a religious being; the heart instinctively seeks for a God. Whether he worships on the banks of the Ganges, prays with his face upturned to the sun, kneels toward Mecca or, regarding all space as a temple, communes with the Heavenly Father according to the Christian creed, man is essentially devout. Religion is the foundation of morality in the individual and in the group of individuals...Morality is the power of endurance in man; and a religion which teaches personal responsibility to God gives strength to morality. There is a powerful restraining influence in the belief that an all-seeing eye scrutinizes every thought and word and act of the individual. It is true that man, in some physical characteristics resembles the beast, but man has a mind as well as a body, and a soul as well as a mind. The mind is greater than the body and the soul is greater than the mind.

"Science has taught us so many things that we are tempted to conclude that we know everything, but there is really a great unknown which is still unexplored and that which we have learned ought to increase our reverence rather than our egotism. Science has disclosed some of the machinery of the universe, but science has not yet revealed to us the great secret – the secret of life. Six thousand years of recorded history and yet we know no more about the secret of life than they knew in the beginning. We live, we plan; we have our hopes, our fears; and yet in a moment a change may come over anyone of us and this body will become a mass of lifeless clay."

Paul Klite was the executive director of the non-profit Rocky Mountain Media Watch. In 1999, he shared his thought, "Any poet or propagandist can confirm that words indeed have the power to hurt and heal. Words readily become thoughts on which we base our beliefs and while actions are said to speak louder than words, words often provoke actions. Some words are so powerful they come right up against our freedom to say them, as in hate speech, profanity, obscenity or words that incite violence. The word 'propaganda' is out of favor these days (back in 1999). It has come to imply something sinister and no one will admit to it. Nevertheless, the willful spreading of manipulative information, call it what you will, has had a major influence on the events of the 20th century. There is no denying that propaganda works and we are all susceptible.

"Repetition and context can increase the impact of words. Remember how (Ivan) Pavlov, in his classic studies of digestive secretions in dogs (in 1927), stumbled onto profound insights about learning, conditioning and memory? He found that an artificial associated stimulus, like a word, can produce the same response as the real McCoy. All mammals readily learn, for example, to associate words with food. Soon, we salivate when we hear the word. The techniques of Pavlovian conditioning will flourish into the 21st century with the repetitive patterns of mass media marketing. Businesses spend billions for advertisements on television that associate their products...Over and over, commercials messages are burned into our brains; advertising propaganda has become an indispensable weapon of capitalism. We have all been well conditioned to be good consumers.

"In the political arena, propaganda has become so commonplace we would probably fall off our seats if a politician or government official promised 'to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.' We get instead spin doctors whose still is precisely in obfuscation. The spin doctor's creed is: 'Make us look good and them bad.' This means hype our cause with strong positive emotion like mom and apple pie. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Deny any negatives. To slam the opposition, trivialize, stereotype, call them names, confuse the facts, use faulty logic and half-truths. The best propaganda goes down like a sugar-coated pill; the audience craves it. Political spin and negative political ads are potent weapons in molding opinion during election cycles. Bombarded by these 30-second missiles, uncommitted voters become cynical and disengaged. The net result – low turnout – allows 5 to 10% of the populace to decide who wins elections.

"In today's mass media culture, public opinion is molded by media messages. A single word in a news story can set the meaning or tone of an issue – one person's 'freedom fighter' can become another's 'terrorist'. In the recent Kosovo war (February 1998 - June 1999), a parallel media battle took place as each side sought to control the words and images available for global consumption. The Yugoslav government promoted pictures of the unbreakable spirit of patriotic Serbs, defiantly standing on bridges, wearing the symbols of target practice over their hearts. Bombs that went astray were shown to western journalists. NATO, for its part, trumpeted antiseptic video-game images of smart weapons, and emotional pictures of Albanian refugees. Walter Cronkite publicly complained he had never seen a war where the U.S. government released so little information. In the battle for public opinion, the U.S. media even avoided the word 'war'. We were involved in a 'crisis', and a 'conflict'. An unpopular war is politically too dangerous to continue for long."

As expressed, "Totalitarian governments quickly recognized the importance of inculcating their doctrines early. From babyhood the children in these countries are molded to a pattern determined by the state. Hitler has declared that through its children the Third Reich will survive a thousand years. The democracies should take their cue from the totalitarian states." Stewart Lamont lamented in 1984, "Truth is a fragile and elusive thing." Sydney Harris remarked in 1961, "If a national slogan is repeated often enough and loudly enough, everybody begins to believe it, even if it has no truth."  

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