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The 25 Rules of Disinformation



The 25 Rules of Disinformation

From Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist) by H. Michael Sweeney. These 25 rules are everywhere in media, from political debates, to television shows, to comments on a blog.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

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The 25 Rules of Disinformation

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I am a Las Vegas high school student.. When I go to school I can't help but think that I'm sitting in a mind control fascility. I feel like I have to go on living two lives everyday in a way , a false ignorant one and an enlightened one . @ the same time I feel like I would be stupid to not do my best in school because I know that's pretty much how you get anywhere in this world .. But as I listen to my history teaches feed me BS About our gov I can't help but roll my eyes . I DO educate myself @ school .. Most of the time I am reading VC articles on my phone . My faith is strong and I do try to enlighten my loved ones .. But it's hard to live in this world .. Especially being my age when I HAVE to go to school everyday and be fed bullcrap .. God bless you all. Keep your heads up ! God is great(:


My son feels the same as you, i advised him to treat school as a game, play it well, do well, but remember half of what you are being taught is not true. I have explained to him as carefully as i can without causing too much fear, that we live in a controlled system of which has made many humans lose touch with what is actually real and what really matters. He is 14, but since early age i have taught him the truth about many issues, everything from what foods contains, to ignore advertising and block as best he can peer pressures, to understanding the creation of money (fractional reserve banking) I was really proud of him when i attended his school evening as his teachers remarked on how he asks about everything, good knowledge is power. His history teacher has given him some low grades when writing about truths in passed causes of wars, i have told him the teacher is none the wiser and they themselves have just taken in what they have been taught, without use of free-thinking or independent research – so i have asked him to just write the normal drivel to keep… Read more »


@ Joanna , thanks so much for the reply . I really like that idea of thinking of it as a game , doing my best but never forgetting the truth . Not that I could ever forget the knowledge that I have gained . That was my point of posting here , to hear some inspiring words from people more knowledgeable (spell check!) than I am . You really helped (:


Kudos to you!

When I was in HS many yrs ago, I didn't have a clue. Of course, a lot more has happened since then.

I know several 30-somethings who were thoroughly indoctrinated in HS & college into the Marxist/Progressive philosophy, and they know NOTHING about the Constitution and couldn't care less about it. They DID learn the all-important lesson to blame Bush for everything (for mostly wrong reasons).

I did a personal study into Social Security & Medicare as a 20-something, and decided they were ponzi schemes into which I'd pay for many years with NO HOPE of collecting a DIME, yet many people even now think there's a TRUST FUND with plenty of money waiting for them to collect.

It's sad that most Americans are spoiled/blind/deaf/dumb sheeple who are easily manipulated.

The PTB have the game rigged. If you question the official story, you're a "truther", "birther", or "tenther".

Keep THINKING & QUESTIONING. We need more like you!


When I was a child, I used to believe adults knew everything. Now I realise, adults are nothing more than grown children with all of the same traits and faults. Adults can be bullies, adults can be scared, adults can be naive, adults can be trusting, adults can be bitchy. I believe that the seven deadly sins are real and that the distraction they cause is what brings real sin in. Sloth, that is laziness….makes people passive and inactive to stand up against evil…thus it can come in. Jealousy means people cannot feel connected and believe that an evil is justly deserved to occur in the life of someone they know. Greed, driven either by a cruel, hard materialism, or by a fear of failure, means that we insecurely collect as much material wealth as we can to find a sense of security, all the while the £90 we spent on that dress or necklace could have been donated to a worthwhile cause, could have fed a poverty stricken family, could have bought a rescue dog enough equiptment to give him a secure shelter. I believe that all the sins are in action but that its not necessarily this list… Read more »


A fantastic comment

Dr. λ, Creator of Variables, Binder of Variables,

We do not need children to be bearers of truth, children need adults to be bearers of truth. Adults raise children, not the other way around.

vigilant kenyan

Thanx vc, a great article as always… I suggest another disinfo tactic which has been very prevalent in my country: OPINION POLLS! they are so many and i believe they are being used to shape public opinion coz the results are always baffling to me. what do the other vc readers think?


Certainly mate. They manipulate the polls to milsead the population. I don't trust them in any shape or form.


You are 100% correct that almost all "opinion polls" are used in mass media to CREATE and SHAPE public opinion – not to measure what public opinion actually is. If you ever notice their little disclaimers, like "margin of error 3%" and crap like that – knowing anything about statistics you'd know it is nearly impossible to know that sort of thing if you're being intellectually honest about it – which they are not, of course – so they simply throw that in so that people will see it, and therefore believe "hey there's some scientific way they know this stuff, and they must be smarter than me, so I should just believe it". How many people have you ever known who told you that they were ever polled about anything? That's a big clue right there. Most "polling" is as much or more a lie than the actual news itself, and yes, it is a very big propaganda tool to manipulate people by the "flock mentality" principle, using people's natural, innate desire to be agreeable and "normal", and to be on the "winning side" – hey if 75.4% of the American people want this new police state thing, then… Read more »


#26 claim racism and discrimination.

Bro. Nick

Thank you for the information – it has been helpful for me to understand the 'ploys' and thus more of what the persons particular agenda is, which in the areas that I make comments 'online' are 'spiritual Deceptions – and Delusions – and Deliberate Deceit' – using 'verbal semantics' – and dis-information – and propaganda – and outright lies – and personal attacks


sounds like the job description of a lawyer


I hate it when some people start talking about not being patriotic when we talk about our government run by the elite

what is unpatriotic about loving our country wanting the best for it wanting to remove the people who want to use it for their own agenda and are ruining our country and stealing our money allowing our sodliers to die and kill other innocent people

Do you think its patriotic to act like everything is good and let everything go down in flames and not talk until its too late


Exactly. Being truly Patriotic means having the balls to say what needs to be said, and doing what needs to be done to rescue our beloved nation from those who wish to destroy it – and those people happen to be the ones who have all the power and $$$ at the present time. You won't find anything remotely patriotic in the thinking of the top 5% of the wealthiest and most powerful subhumans who make up the ruling elite. Their goals go beyond national borders and sovereignty, and those are things they want to do away with as soon as possible, so that their "one world" tyranny will be possible. But it cannot and will not happen as long as there are intelligent, dedicated real patriots who care very deeply about preserving this great nation that was handed down to us by our Founders, who all fought and suffered great losses, personal and otherwise, in order to give it to us. They did what they did to escape the bonds of slavery from the royal tyranny, and they were in no mood to give it back anytime soon. But, while we have been very successful in many ways and… Read more »

Tsadi Waw Mem Taw

The real number one, which is obligatory in order to carry out all the rest: Be a soulless subhuman piece of s--t.


Like staying with family.

Wish you had a remedy for every one of these ploys!


I wonder why Jay Rockefeller want to shut down Internet?


I see you just described Bill O'Reilly.

Aussie Andrew

A really good article. Our local talkback radio shock jocks have had all of this down to a fine art for years.

Lloyd S Paulson

A man testified in the Superior Court of Ontario, Canada. some 30 years ago. After testifying he left the court

room. The crown counsel for Canada (AECL) followed after him. They tried to bribe him. His lawyer had put

a listening device under the man'suit jacket. They had tried in the past. He had just given damaging testimony

against a large industry. The man's lawyer came out and removed the device. Both crown counsel returned,

towering over the man one said, " Mr. Paulson, we will disinform you and your family for the rest of their lives

for what you did today.." The man, B H Paulson. The industry: nuclear. The subject :Chalk River meltdown

1958, 210 cancer operations (plutonium). True danger of Low Level Radiation. FUN HEY

Adam Neira

The truth is the most liberating of all things, but as that line in "A Few Good Men" goes…

"You can't handle the truth !"

A wise sage once commented…

"It doesn't matter what you think we will all know the truth and what is correct in the end !"


Sounds a lot like trying to have a discussion with my family. *facepalm*

Great post – these manipulative tactics should be exposed for everyone's benefit. Wish this was taught in school. Thanks VC!


This sounds like the MSNBC handbook! Ok, O' Reilly, America's "most trusted news source" uses all these tactics as well. But I can't help but point out Chris Matthews, Eliot Spitzer, etc., like these guys take courses in deception. But deception is fine, as long as you're a loving liberal working for Government Electric!


^^^ "mislead" the population


Talk about controlled opposition…this is the one explanation of 911 that the "911 truth movement/911inside job" won't touch or allow consideration.

I think if we can't understand this 'event' then we might not understand any now or in the future.
If you really want your mind blown then go through these guys research. Try to leave the emotional impact of the 'event' behind and consider everything within this site.

…you will not be disappointed…

Take Care~Have Fun


The new V (sci-fi) tv series is a great excample of all 25 rules in action. That show really is a must see. Thanks for your hard work VC.


hi. the graphics at the beginning of this post looks very similar to the Fair Trade logo. was this on purpose? and if so, is the author of this post feel the Fair Trade non-profit organization is not legit? just curious.. sometimes, I can't tell if I'm paranoid, reading into something too far, or correct.

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