Archive for January 15th, 2010

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Pat Robertson’s Version of the Big Lie Theory

January 15, 2010

To make sure I understood exactly what Pat Robertson said regarding Haiti, I watched video of the 700 Club broadcast in question.  I sat in stunned silence at what I viewed.  Stunned not at the revelation of some unknown truth but by the boldness of Robertson to use folklore as if it were a truth whispered to him by God.  I really did not intend to write about it, as one is bound to get dirty playing in the mud but sometimes that is a lesser evil than remaining silent.

Televangelists, like Robertson, employ a political tactic that is the Big Lie theory, modified to take advantage of the viral nature of outlandish claims in today’s connected world.  It is the same tactic used by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Never allow the public to cool off
  2. Disseminate the lie as widely and quickly as possible
  3. Always be vague and use innuendo
  4. Never admit a fault
  5. Never concede that there may be some good in your target
  6. Never leave room for alternative possibilities
  7. Never accept blame for anything and concentrate that blame on your enemy and blame him for everything that goes wrong

The theory assumes people will believe a big lie because it is easier to accept smaller ones as lies.  The boldness of the statement gives it an air of truth and if repeated frequently enough people will eventually believe it.  For example, you hear a report on something outrageous and say to yourself, “that can’t be true,” and forget it.  Then someone you know, who heard the same lie, repeats it to you as a point of interest.  You recall, “I heard that before,” never mind it came from the same source.  You now have the same lie from two sources, then three, then four, and so on.  The more you hear it, the more ingrained it becomes as true.

In the end, Robertson’s use of this tactic simply betrays the Christian values he clams to support.  Rather than having love and compassion for our neighbors in Haiti, he claims it is God smiting them for a deal one man made, two-hundred years ago, with the devil, according to the folklore.  If you ask me, it seems the deal the devil made is with a televangelist that lives in Virginia.

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