Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):


The Power of Propaganda

We have the advantage of truth on our side, and the importance of getting our message out in an understandable, honest, and Scriptural form could not be greater today. Will you stand with us and help us to proclaim British-Israel covenant truths to God's blind people?

by Jory Steven Brooks, CBIA

When examining internet articles critical of British-Israel, it is clear that what we are seeing is propaganda, not an honest, fair, and factual analysis. Considering the sheer volume of such attacks, it is equally clear that our opponents are very afraid of these truths, and desperate to twist the evidence in whatever way necessary to negate it. We therefore first of all need to face the reality that we are dealing with propaganda, not reasonable discourse.

The first use of the word, "propaganda," was a 1622 papal letter written by Pope Gregory XV, who founded "Congregatio de Propaganda Fide," the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. The Catholic Church used the Latin word meaning, "to propagate," to refer to the dissemination of beliefs and doctrine. In the ensuing years, propaganda has grown to become very big business indeed.

The British Library in London, England, sponsored this summer a special exhibit examining the role that propaganda has played in forming belief systems through the ages. They listed seven techniques used by propagandists: glittering generalities, transfer, name calling, card stacking, testimonials, plain folks, and bandwagon. Let us see and understand how our opponents utilize such tactics.

One argument I have seen used repeatedly against us is glittering generalities. Opponents will say that it "really is not important if we are God's people Israel, because the only thing that matters is that Christ died for our sins." If that were the case, the Scriptures would have been limited to John 3:16 instead of an entire Holy Bible! Respond to such a remark by asking, "Do you have absolutely no desire to understand more about the Christian life so you can live it to its fullest? Will you remain a babe in Christ and not grow into full spiritual maturity as Scripture requires?" (Hebrews 5:12-14)

The transfer argument is being used more and more these days. They will pick some unpopular group like the German Third Reich of a century ago and try to associate us with that. My father risked his life fighting the Nazis during World War II, so it is an especial affront to imply such nonsense. But of course, our opponents are not interested in truth, only propaganda in an effort to demonize those they disagree with.

Name calling or insults are also very common. This reminds me of the old cartoon where a minister has written in his notes, "argument weak: pound pulpit!" This tactic is designed to create moral outrage. If some of our critics are downright nasty using invectives in place of fact, they may be following the thinking of American philosopher Noam Chomsky (born 1928) who said, "Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." Ever felt bludgeoned by critics? If so, console yourself that it is only propaganda!

Card stacking is very popular among our critics, who will sometimes quote lots of other authors who all agree with them! The bandwagon approach is often seen where ministers are required to teach the theology of their own denomination. No deviation is allowed, or they will be removed from their pulpit and livelihood!

The plain folks approach can perhaps be best defined by British politician Richard Crossman (1907-74), who wrote, "The art of propaganda is not telling lies but rather seeking the truth you require and giving it mixed up with some truths the audience wants to hear." Yes, a mixture of truth and lies, or "half-truths," is more effective than a total lie. Propagandists identify with their audience by mixing in some things they strongly agree with.

I would add another propaganda method redirecting already existing firmly-held beliefs off into a harmless new direction, thus neutralizing them. British philosopher Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) expressed it thus: "The propagandist is a man who canalizes an already existing stream. In a land where there is no water, he digs in vain." If a target group is composed of firm Bible-believers, for example, their faith is redirected into a harmless ineffectual course. Could this be compared to the popular modern liberals teaching that God's promises and covenants are just spiritual and have no physical fulfillment?

A well-known example of wartime propaganda was exposed in Arthur Ponsonby's 1928 book, Falsehood in Wartime. The British propaganda ministry invented atrocity stories during World War I, including a claim that Germans were turning human bodies into lubricating oil (page 102-3). Perhaps you may be able to name other false atrocity claims since that time!

As a result of WWI propaganda excesses, the word became associated with the spreading of half-truths and lies, a negative cast that it still retains to this day and unfortunately for good reason! With the recent revelations in the press concerning the American government covertly spying on its citizens, a 1971 Soviet poster now seems rather prescient: it depicted the Statue of Liberty in New York parodied as a look-out tower for the government to observe its people!

One of the most influential of British propagandists was Lord Northcliffe, who during the WWI era owned the Times, Daily Mail, and other newspapers. He gave the following wise advice for those interesting in influencing others:

# "Undigested material is no material." Is our message in an understandable form?

# "Useless material is worse than no material." I read some British-Israel publications and articles therein that have no real specific relevance to our message or its propagation and seem like "filler." Why then waste the paper and postage? Such material just takes people's time away from reading something else more relevant.

# Do not waste time and effort bringing someone "to a conclusion that he can reach unaided."

# Do not be unnecessarily negative. Lord Northcliffe advised, "Unless men are very ill or very uncomfortable they resist fears and welcome hopes. The human mind dismisses fears and accepts and even invents hope with all its strength. Propaganda that merely threatens achieves nothing unless it holds out hopes also."

# "No man will blame himself if there is anyone else to blame...Indignation with others is the natural state of man." Unfortunately, we have brought upon ourselves most of our evils as a people, and need to stop always blaming others for our problems. Our own need to turn in faithfulness to God is a tough message to get across.

# Concerning the falsehoods of our critics, this statement by Lord Northcliffe applies: "Lies are the least effective form of propaganda. The effect of a lie diminishes and the effect of a frank statement increases with the square of the time that has ensued after it has been told."

How much effort is placed on propaganda by governments? During WWI, in ten months of 1917 alone, 40 million items were produced by Britain, including pamphlets, pictures, postcards and other items. In February and March, 1917, two and a half million propaganda books and pamphlets were published in the United Kingdom alone. Output only then lessened as a result of a paper shortage! How true were the words of American public relations pioneer, Edward Bernays (1891-1995), who said, "Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government."

Atheistic Communism has placed a great emphasis on propaganda. More than one billion copies of Mao's Little Red Book of statements and speeches were distributed between 1964 and 1976, and unknown quantities since! We certainly cannot compete in quantity with either Chairman Mao or our critics! But we have the advantage of truth on our side, and the importance of getting our message out in an understandable, honest, and Scriptural form could-not be greater today. Will you stand with us and help us to proclaim British-Israel covenant truths to God's blind people?

Remember the command of our Lord: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." (Matthew 10:24-27) Shall we be about our Master's business?


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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