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.


  1. I remember a man in the New Testament that was blind from birth, begging in the streets. When Jesus walked by, apostles in tow, they asked him, “Lord, who sinned that this man came to such a state? Was it his mother or his father?” And Jesus replied to them, “No, it was not the sin of this man’s mother or his father that brought him to this state but that he might be an example of the manifest power of God” And after he said that, he healed the man. What are “good Christians” if they are not the manifested power of the God they worship and believe in? So perhaps this catastrophe in Haiti is a chance given to them for the advancement of the Christian faith through charitable deeds and action; providing a literal “salvation” to our brothers and sisters who share this world with us. The apostle James said, “Faith without works is dead” Robertson claims to have the faith but his works are those of a devil and not those of a loving Lord. Just my thoughts.

    • You make very good points Fabian, it is hard to reconcile Robertson’s words with the tenets of Christianity. What astounds me though are the large number of people that seem to worship this man instead of following the teaching of their own religion.

  2. “If you spoon feed a lie to a population long enough, when the truth is finally heard it will sound uterly preposterous, and the person that utters it totally insane”

    Michael, may I put this on my site?

    j guevara

    • Please do, the more that read it, the better

  3. I used to like and listen to Rush Limbaugh, but even when he has a good point now, I don’t want to listen to it. He thrives on conflict.

    Pat Robertson? Wow, he just embodies all that has me against organized religion today. I sure hope people don’t send him money.

  4. It is so sad to even imagine what these poor people in Haiti are going through (again, only worse) and to have some big televangelist say they made a pack with the devil is just unacceptable.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Benton, Michael Benton. Michael Benton said: Pat Robertson’s Version of the Big Lie Theory – http://wp.me/pmSGR-1H […]

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