Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More

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TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 18, 2017

As a preamble, let me preface this with a big thanks of appreciation to all of those individuals who have contributed to the crucial information provided below and who have sought to make it available to everyone.

Now, in order to learn how to navigate through the nefarious web of deception created these days within all types of media, there will be five distinct articles cited at length that outline information that’s quite vital for incisive individuals to know so they can become self-sufficient in their ability to discern the truth from veritable smoke screens.  It is suggested these are studied regularly until they are learned given how important and efficient they are.

Logical Fallacies will be the first tool addressed.  This is because logic is arguably one of the most important – if not the most important – tool an individual will have at their disposal in order to maneuver through their everyday life more efficiently, especially when dealing with the daily nonsense that the establishment and mainstream media espouses.  For those seeking additional information on Logic, please read 13 Great Reasons To Study Logic, and Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

We will commence by citing a piece that was shared earlier this year.

In Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life, we shared:

What is a logical fallacy?

A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Strong arguments are void of logical fallacies, whilst arguments that are weak tend to use logical fallacies to appear stronger than they are. They’re like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians, media, and others to fool people. Below follow some of the more common fallacies.

Strawman
Misrepresenting Someone’s Argument To Make It Easier To Attack
By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to prevent your own position as being reasonable, but this is kind of dishonest and serves to undermine honest rational debate.
Example: After will said we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenseless by cutting military spending.

Slippery Slope
Asserting That If We Allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too, therefore A should not happen.
The problem with this reasoning is that it avoids engaging with the issue at hand, and instead shifts attention to extreme hypotheticals. Because no proof is presented to show that such extreme hypotheticals will in fact occur, this fallacy has the form of an appeal to emotion fallacy by leveraging fear. In effect the argument at hand is unfairly tainted by unsubstantiated conjecture.
Example: Colin Closet asserts that if we allow same-sex couples to marry, then the next thing we know we’ll be allowing people to marry their parents, their cars and even monkeys.

False Cause
Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.
Example
: Pointing to a fancy chart, a Senator shows how temperatures have been rising over the past few centuries, whilst at the same time the numbers of terrorist attacks have been increasing; thus global warming causes terrorism. [Don’t believe me? Look it up – an actual senator that said this.]

Ad Hominem
Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.
Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

Special Pleading
Moving the goalposts to create exceptions when a claim is shown to be false.
Example: Edward Johns claimed to be psychic, but when his ‘abilities’ were tested under proper scientific conditions, they magically disappeared. Edward explained this saying that one had to have faith in his abilities for them to work.

Loaded Question
Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.
Example: Grace and Helen were both romantically interested in Brad. One day, with Brad sitting within earshot, Grace asked in an inquisitive tone whether Helen was having any problems with a fungal infection.

The Gambler’s Fallacy
Believing that ‘runs’ occur to statistically independent phenomena such as roulette wheel spins.
Example: Red had come up six times in a row on the roulette wheel, so Greg knew that it was close to certain that black would be next up. Suffering an economic form of natural selection with this thinking, he soon lost all of his savings.

Bandwagon
Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.
Example: Shamus pointed a drunken finger at Sean and asked him to explain how so many people could believe in leprechauns if they’re only a silly old superstition. Sean, however, had had a few too many Guinness himself and fell off his chair.

Black-Or-White
Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.
Example: Whilst rallying support for his plan to fundamentally undermine citizens’ rights, the Supreme Leader told the people they were either on his side, or on the side of the enemy. [Note: George Bush did this by the way…]

Begging The Questions
A circular argument in which the conclusion is included in the premise.
Example: The word of Zorbo the Great is flawless and perfect. We know this because it says so in The Great and Infallible Book of Zorbo’s Best and Most Truest Things that are Definitely True and Should Not Ever Be Questioned.

Appeal To Authority
Using the opinion or position of an authority figure, or institution of authority, in place of an actual argument.
Example: When an individual states that vaccines are safe just because doctors say so, even though countless studies can be cited to eviscerate the ‘safety’ argument.

Appeal To Nature
Making the argument that because something is ‘natural’ it is therefore valid, justified, inevitable, good, or ideal.
Example: The medicine man rolled into town on his bandwagon offering various natural remedies, such as very special plain water. He said that it was only natural that people should be wary of ‘artificial’ medicines such as antibiotics. The converse is also true, which could be in a way called Appeal To Technology/Science.

Composition / Division
Assuming that what’s true about one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it.
Example: Daniel was a precocious child and had a liking for logic. He reasoned that atoms are invisible, and that he was made of atoms and therefore invisible too. Unfortunately, despite his thinky skills, he lost the game of hide and go seek.

Anecdotal
Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument.
Example: Jason said that that was all cool and everything, but his grandfather smoked, like, 30 cigarettes a day and lived until 97 – so don’t believe everything you read about meta analyses of sound studies showing proven causal relationships.

Appeal To Emotion
Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.
Example: Luke didn’t want to eat his sheep’s brains with chopped liver and brussels sprouts, but his father told him to think about the poor, starving children in a third world country who weren’t fortunate enough to have any food at all.

The Fallacy Fallacy
Presuming that because a claim has been poorly argued, or a fallacy has been made, that it is necessarily wrong.
Example: Recognizing that Amanda had committed a fallacy in arguing that we should eat healthy food because a nutritionist said it was popular, Alyse said we should therefore eat bacon double cheeseburgers every day.

Tu Quoque
Avoiding having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser – answering criticism with criticism.
Example: The blue candidate accused the red candidate of committing the tu quoque fallacy. The red candidate responded by accusing the blue candidate of the same, after which ensued an hour of back and forth criticism with not much progress.

Personal Incredulity
Saying that because one finds something difficult to understand that it’s therefore not true.
Example: Kirk drew a picture of a fish and a human and with effusive disdain asked Richard if he really thought we were stupid enough to believe that a fish somehow turned into a human through just, like, random things happening over time.

Burden Of Proof
Saying that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.
Examples: Bertrand declares that a teapot is, at this very moment, in orbit around the Sun between the Earth and Mars, and that because no one can prove him wrong his claim is therefore a valid one.

Ambiguity
Using double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth.
Example: When the judge asked the defendant why he hadn’t paid his parking fines, he said that he shouldn’t have to pay them because the sign said ‘Fine for parking here’ and so he naturally presumed that it would be fine to park there.

No True Scotsman
Making what could be called an appeal to purity as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws of an argument.
Example: Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like atrue Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge.

Genetic
Judging something good or bad on the basis of where it comes from, or from whom it comes.
Example: Accused on the 6 o’clock news of corruption and taking bribes, the senator said that we should all be very wary of the things we hear in the media, because we all know how very unreliable the media can be.

The Texas Sharpshooter
Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption.
Example: The makers of Sugarette Candy Drinks point to research showing that of the five countries where Sugarette drinks sell the most units, three of them are in the top ten healthiest countries on Earth, therefore Sugarette drinks are healthy.

Middle Ground
Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes is the truth.
Example: Holly said that vaccinations are safe, but her scientifically well-read friend Caleb said that this claim was untrue because there were dozens of studies proving otherwise. Their friend Alice offered a compromise that vaccinations are sometimes safe.

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Next we will proceed by citing various ways truth if often suppressed.  Many of these techniques are seen nigh daily, which is why its important to remain cognizant of them.

In Thirteen Techniques For Truth Suppression, David Martin of [BrassCheck.com] writes:

Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.

  1. Dummy up. If it’s not reported, if it’s not news, it didn’t happen.
  2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the “how dare you?” gambit.
  3. Characterize the charges as “rumors” or, better yet, “wild rumors.” If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through “rumors.”
  4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.
  5. Call the skeptics names like “conspiracy theorist,” “nut,” “ranter,” “kook,” “crackpot,” and of course, “rumor monger.” You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.
  6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.
  7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.
  8. Dismiss the charges as “old news.”
  9. Come half-clean. This is also known as “confession and avoidance” or “taking the limited hang-out route.” This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal “mistakes.” This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.
  10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.
  11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven’t reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report it.
  12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.
  13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction.

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Tackling the fundamentals in Disinformation – How It Works, Brandon Smith [Alt-Market.com] writes:

There was a time, not too long ago (relatively speaking), that governments and the groups of elites that controlled them did not find it necessary to conscript themselves into wars of disinformation.

Propaganda was relatively straightforward. The lies were much simpler. The control of information flow was easily directed. Rules were enforced with the threat of property confiscation and execution for anyone who strayed from the rigid socio-political structure. Those who had theological, metaphysical or scientific information outside of the conventional and scripted collective world view were tortured and slaughtered. The elites kept the information to themselves, and removed its remnants from mainstream recognition, sometimes for centuries before it was rediscovered.

With the advent of anti-feudalism, and most importantly the success of the American Revolution, elitists were no longer able to dominate information with the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. The establishment of Republics, with their philosophy of open government and rule by the people, compelled Aristocratic minorities to plot more subtle ways of obstructing the truth and thus maintaining their hold over the world without exposing themselves to retribution from the masses. Thus, the complex art of disinformation was born.

The technique, the “magic” of the lie, was refined and perfected. The mechanics of the human mind and the human soul became an endless obsession for the establishment.

The goal was malicious, but socially radical; instead of expending the impossible energy needed to dictate the very form and existence of the truth, they would allow it to drift, obscured in a fog of contrived data. They would wrap the truth in a Gordian Knot of misdirection and fabrication so elaborate that they felt certain the majority of people would surrender, giving up long before they ever finished unraveling the deceit. The goal was not to destroy the truth, but to hide it in plain sight.

In modern times, and with carefully engineered methods, this goal has for the most part been accomplished. However, these methods also have inherent weaknesses. Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly.

In this article, we will examine the methods used to fertilize and promote the growth of disinformation, as well as how to identify the roots of disinformation and effectively cut them, starving out the entire system of fallacies once and for all.

Media Disinformation Methods

The mainstream media, once tasked with the job of investigating government corruption and keeping elitists in line, has now become nothing more than a public relations firm for corrupt officials and their Globalist handlers. The days of the legitimate “investigative reporter” are long gone (if they ever existed at all), and journalism itself has deteriorated into a rancid pool of so called “TV Editorialists” who treat their own baseless opinions as supported fact.

The elitist co-opting of news has been going on in one form or another since the invention of the printing press. However, the first methods of media disinformation truly came to fruition under the supervision of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who believed the truth was “subjective” and open to his personal interpretation.

Some of the main tactics used by the mainstream media to mislead the masses are as follows:

Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.

Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!

Dishonest Debate Tactics: Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda. Because the media know they will lose credibility if they do not allow guests with opposing viewpoints every once in a while, they set up and choreograph specialized T.V. debates in highly restrictive environments which put the guest on the defensive, and make it difficult for them to clearly convey their ideas or facts.

TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called “Alinsky Tactics.” Saul Alinsky was a moral relativist, and champion of the lie as a tool for the “greater good”; essentially, a modern day Machiavelli. His “Rules for Radicals” were supposedly meant for grassroots activists who opposed the establishment and emphasized the use of any means necessary to defeat one’s political opposition. But is it truly possible to defeat an establishment built on lies, by use of even more elaborate lies, and by sacrificing one’s ethics? In reality, his strategies are the perfect format for corrupt institutions and governments to dissuade dissent from the masses. Today, Alinsky’s rules are used more often by the establishment than by its opposition.
Alinsky’s Strategy: Win At Any Cost, Even If You Have To Lie

Alinsky’s tactics have been adopted by governments and disinformation specialists across the world, but they are most visible in TV debate. While Alinsky sermonized about the need for confrontation in society, his debate tactics are actually designed to circumvent real and honest confrontation of opposing ideas with slippery tricks and diversions. Alinsky’s tactics, and their modern usage, can be summarized as follows:

1) Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.

We see this tactic in many forms. For example, projecting your own movement as mainstream, and your opponent’s as fringe. Convincing your opponent that his fight is a futile one. Your opposition may act differently, or even hesitate to act at all, based on their perception of your power. How often have we heard this line: “The government has predator drones. There is nothing the people can do now…” This is a projection of exaggerated invincibility designed to elicit apathy from the masses.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people, and whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.

Don’t get drawn into a debate about a subject you do not know as well as or better than your opposition. If possible, draw them into such a situation instead. Go off on tangents. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in your opposition. This is commonly used against unwitting interviewees on cable news shows whose positions are set up to be skewered. The target is blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address. In television and radio, this also serves to waste broadcast time to prevent the target from expressing his own position.

3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

The objective is to target the opponent’s credibility and reputation by accusations of hypocrisy. If the tactician can catch his opponent in even the smallest misstep, it creates an opening for further attacks, and distracts away from the broader moral question.

4) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

“Ron Paul is a crackpot.” “Gold bugs are crazy.” “Constitutionalists are fringe extremists.” Baseless ridicule is almost impossible to counter because it is meant to be irrational. It infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

The popularization of the term “Teabaggers” is a classic example; it caught on by itself because people seem to think it’s clever, and enjoy saying it. Keeping your talking points simple and fun helps your side stay motivated, and helps your tactics spread autonomously, without instruction or encouragement.

6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

See rule No. 5. Don’t become old news. If you keep your tactics fresh, it’s easier to keep your people active. Not all disinformation agents are paid. The “useful idiots” have to be motivated by other means. Mainstream disinformation often changes gear from one method to the next and then back again.

7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Never give the target a chance to rest, regroup, recover or re-strategize. Take advantage of current events and twist their implications to support your position. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

This goes hand in hand with Rule No. 1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.

9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.

10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements or covert operations specialists) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists’ cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements and revolutions use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions and rebellions (look at Syria for a recent example).

11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. Today, this is often used offensively against legitimate activists, such as the opponents of the Federal Reserve. Complain that your opponent is merely “pointing out the problems.” Demand that they offer not just “a solution”, but THE solution. Obviously, no one person has “the” solution. When he fails to produce the miracle you requested, dismiss his entire argument and all the facts he has presented as pointless.

12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.

Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. The target’s supporters will expose themselves. Go after individual people, not organizations or institutions. People hurt faster than institutions.

The next time you view an MSM debate, watch the pundits carefully, you will likely see many if not all of the strategies above used on some unsuspecting individual attempting to tell the truth.
Internet Disinformation Methods

Internet trolls, also known as “paid posters” or “paid bloggers,” are increasingly and openly being employed by private corporations as well governments, often for marketing purposes and for “public relations” (Obama is notorious for this practice). Internet “trolling” is indeed a fast growing industry.

Trolls use a wide variety of strategies, some of which are unique to the internet, here are just a few:

  1. Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the Web.
  2. Pose as a supporter of the truth, then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums — trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane. The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association. In extreme cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts which incite violence — a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of the think tank propagandists like the SPLC, which purports that Constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.
  3. Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive Web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.
  4. Prewritten Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. When they post, their words feel strangely plastic and well rehearsed.
  5. False Association: This works hand in hand with item No. 2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the “Trojan Horse Troll.” For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics”; deliberately associating anti-globalist movements with racists and homegrown terrorists, because of the inherent negative connotations; and using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.
  6. False Moderation: Pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a “grey area” where the truth becomes “relative.”
  7. Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words.

Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often, or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.

Stopping Disinformation

The best way to disarm disinformation agents is to know their methods inside and out. This gives us the ability to point out exactly what they are doing in detail the moment they try to do it. Immediately exposing a disinformation tactic as it is being used is highly destructive to the person utilizing it. It makes them look foolish, dishonest and weak for even making the attempt. Internet trolls most especially do not know how to handle their methods being deconstructed right in front of their eyes and usually fold and run from debate when it occurs.

The truth is precious. It is sad that there are so many in our society who have lost respect for it; people who have traded in their conscience and their soul for temporary financial comfort while sacrificing the stability and balance of the rest of the country in the process.

The human psyche breathes on the air of truth. Without it, humanity cannot survive. Without it, the species will collapse, starving from lack of intellectual and emotional sustenance.

Disinformation does not only threaten our insight into the workings of our world; it makes us vulnerable to fear, misunderstanding, and doubt: all things that lead to destruction. It can drive good people to commit terrible atrocities against others, or even against themselves. Without a concerted and organized effort to diffuse mass-produced lies, the future will look bleak indeed.

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Knowing how disinformation works, now we will take a gander at 25 Rules Of Disinformation that were written by H. Michael Sweeney, although we found them personally at WashingtonsBlog.com:

Preface: This handy set of rules covers most of the games which disinformation artists play on the Internet (and offline). When you know the tricks, you’ll be able to spot the games. Even if you’ve read this list before, you might be surprised at how useful it is to brush up on these tricks.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
  15. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
  16. 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.
  17. 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”.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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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Now to anchor all of the above information, we will cite How To Spot – And Defeat – Disruption On The Internet which comes from WashingtonsBlog.com:

We’ve seen a number of tactics come and go over the years.  Here are the ones we see a lot of currently.

  1. Start a partisan divide-and-conquer fight or otherwise push emotional buttons to sow discord and ensure that cooperation is thwarted.   Get people fighting against each other instead of the corrupt powers-that-be.  Use baseless caricatures to rile everyone up.  For example,  start a religious war whenever possible using stereotypes like “all Jews are selfish”, “all Christians are crazy” or “all Muslims are terrorists”.  Accuse the author of being a gay, pro-abortion limp-wristed wimp  or being a fundamentalist pro-war hick when the discussion has nothing to do with abortion, sexuality, religion, war or region.  Appeal to people’s basest prejudices and biases. And – as Sweeney explains – push the author into a defensive posture:

Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule … 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.

  1. Pretend it’s hopeless because we’ll be squashed if we try.  For example, every time a whistleblower leaks information, say “he’s going to be bumped off”.   If people talk about protesting, organizing, boycotting, shareholder activism, spreading the real facts, moving our money or taking other constructive action, write things to scare and discourage people, say something like  “we don’t have any chance because they have drones and they’ll just kill us if we try”,  or “Americans are too stupid, lazy and greedy, so they’ll never help out.”  Encourage people to be apathetic instead of trying to change things.
  2. Demand complete, fool-proof and guaranteed solutions to the problems being discussed.   For example, if a reporter breaks the story that the big banks conspired to rig a market, ask “given that people are selfish and that no regulation can close all possible loopholes … how are you going to change human nature?”, and pretend that it’s not worth talking about the details of the market manipulation.  This discourages people from reporting on and publicizing the corruption, fraud and other real problems.  And it ensures that not enough people will spread the facts so that the majority know what’s really going on.
  3. Suggest extreme, over-the-top, counter-productive solutions which will hurt more than help, or which are wholly disproportionate to what is being discussed.   For example, if the discussion is whether or not to break up the big banks or to go back on the gold standard, say that everyone over 30  should be killed because they are sell-outs and irredeemable, or that all of the banks should be bombed. This discredits the attempt to spread the facts and to organize, and is simply the web method of the provocateur.
  4. Pretend that alternative media – such as blogs written by the top experts in their fields, without any middleman – are untrustworthy or are motivated solely by money (for example, use the derogatory term “blogspam” for any blog posting, pretending that there is no original or insightful reporting, but that the person is simply doing it for ad revenue).
  5. Coordinate with a couple of others to “shout down” reasonable comments.  This is especially effective when the posters launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession … the original, reasonable comment gets lost or attacked so much that it is largely lost.
  6. Use an army of sock puppets.  You can either hire low-wage workers in India or other developing countries to “astroturf” or – if you work for the government – you can use hire military personnel and subcontractors to monitor social media and “correct” information which you don’t like (and see this), or use software which allows you to quickly create and alternate between numerous false identities, each with their own internet address.
  7. Censor social media, so that the hardest-hitting information is buried. If you can’t censor it, set up “free speech zones” to push dissent into dank, dark corners where no one will see it.
  8. When the powers-that-be cut corners and take criminally reckless gambles with our lives and our livelihoods, protect them by pretending that the inevitable result – nuclear accidents, financial crisesterrorist attacks or other disasters – were “unforeseeable” and that “no could have known”.
  9. Protect the rich and powerful by labeling any allegations of criminal activity as being a “conspiracy theory”.  For example, when Goldman gets caught rigging markets, label the accusations as mere conspiracies.

The following 4 tactics from Sweeney are also still commonly used …

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Postscript:  Over a number of years, we’ve found that the most effective way to fight disruption and disinformation is to link to a post such as this one which rounds up disruption techniques, and then to cite the disinfo technique you think is being used.

Specifically, we’ve found the following format to be highly effective in educating people in a non-confrontational manner about what the disrupting person is doing:

Good Number 1!

Or:

Thanks for that textbook example of Number 7!

(include the link so people can see what you’re referring to.)

The reason this is effective is that other readers will learn about the specific disruption tactic being used … in context, like seeing wildlife while holding a wildlife guide, so that one learns what it looks like “in the field”.   At the same time, you come across as humorous and light-hearted instead of heavy-handed or overly-intense.

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The above amalgamation of tools, techniques, tips, and data points should not only be able to help individuals ascertain the modus operandi used against them regarding censorship, disinformation, deception et al. but also assist in what to do in response to them where applicable.

Be it a newcomer, or an old timer, this information will serve as an excellent foundation for those looking to learn the ways that the establishment casts its nefarious webs, or perhaps serve as a review to those that have been doing this for a long time.

Make sure to review it from time to time in order to make sure it’s not forgotten.

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Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschoolers, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Open Source Education – Examples
What’s An Elite Education?  Famous Teacher Explains
Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

Related Links:

The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
How A Generation Lots Its Culture by Professor Patrick Deneen
Underground History Of American Education With John Taylor Gatto
The Pathological Methodology Of Forced Schooling
Charlotte Iserbyt – The Secret History Of Western Education [Full Documentary]
Against School – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why
Lessons From IKEA Founder & MIT Admissions Director
What Is Education?  Elite Curriculum

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This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Love Is Stronger Than Death By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

LoveStrongerDeath

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 15, 2017

I read two of Kreeft’s book in the past and found his writing to follow a very direct non-nonsense approach, regardless of topic.   That being the case, thought it prudent to avail myself of more of his work, given the quality and insights.

Compared to some of Kreeft’s other books which I recently began reading, this book didn’t’ sound as alluring.  However, knowing that Kreeft shovels pearls of wisdom by the truckload in his books, it seemed prudent to proceed open-mindedly – as one always should – into this new book.

Love Is Stronger Than Death by philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D. is an in-depth gander into love, death, life through five lenses: death as an enemy, death as a stranger, death as a friend, death as a mother, death as a lover.  Curious chapter titles no doubt, and yet, each offer more than ample insights to ruminate upon.

Examining this curious conundrum, Kreeft takes a very methodical and deft approach into attempting to take the taboo out of death.  Following many thought-provoking considerations, Kreefts undoubtedly leaves the reader not only with a fresh new understanding of death, but a new reassuring point of view of life.

The profound ruminations that Kreeft embarks in are quite meaningful, as they tend to add color to the strands of life that are often fraught with greys and blacks.  For instance:

“On the one hand, death is loss of self; on the other, loss of death is loss of meaning, of identity, of self.  On the one hand, death takes is loss of meaning, of identity, of self.  On the one hand, death takes from me my self, and immortality would give me my self snatched from the jaws of death of nothingness.  On the other hand, death gives me my self, as we have discovered in this chapter, and the “Immortality pill” would snatch it from me.  Death both unmakes me and makes me.”[1]

Passages as such leave the reader much to ponder upon.

Employing a multi-pronged approach, Kreeft deftly uses logic, analogies, biblical lessons, as well as philosophy to strip away much of the mystery that has confounded humanity since time immemorial.

In fact, Kreeft at one point speaks honestly about the subject:

“My concocting and writing this book about death has sharpened my appreciation of life also – beyond all my expectations.  The thought of death has made my life exactly the opposite of  “morbid.”  But why passively read about this experience in other people?  “Look thy last on all things lovely” now.  You have something infinitely better to do than to continue reading this book.  Meet your friend.  Lay the book down for ten minutes and ask yourself what you would think, feel, say, and do if you knew this was the last ten minutes of your life.  And then do it.  For the very good reason that it might be the last ten minutes of your life, and for the equally good reason that some ten minutes certainly will be your last.”[2]

Whether one agrees with his religious views or not, how can someone not appreciate a mind, and individual, with such an honest and caring point of view?

Throughout his books, seeing Kreeft employ logic and philosophy in a sound manner has made me appreciate the value of keen mental faculties that much more.  That said, Love Is Stronger Than Death has made me appreciate life even more so.  Not because I did not appreciate life, because I did, especially having had many bouts with serious disease and hospitalizations.  The issue is that I myself, as others, often find myself busy with life’s intricacies and would forget to slow down and smell the roses so to speak  Not just slow down, but  really slow down, in every second, in every breathe – really take the totality of life in.  This insight has allowed me to begin living life to an extent previously undone.

Not only does this last passage by Kreeft make me ponder about the roads of life we all take, but it also sheds light into the darkest realm of the individual psyche – the end of the road as individuals.  And the intriguing possibility is that this endroad – or is it beginning? – is not paved in darkness, but in light.  That is just my take on it, yours may vary, and rightly so.

Either way, after reading this book, one can’t help but subsume Kreeft’s ideas into your mind but also ponder them at length, share them, and perhaps even grow from them.  This not only removes the scaffolding to the fear surrounding death, but it leaves one prepared to tackle life with a newfound sense of meaning.  And that, my friends, makes life that much sweeter, and in fact, more lively.

_______________________________________________
Sources:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Love Is Stronger Than Death, pp. 56-57
[2] Ibid., p. 48.

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

Philosophy Of Tolkien
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 6, 2017

Featured within the February Book Haul, The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. is quite an insightful book, in which Kreeft searches for philosophical gems of wisdom embedded by J.R.R. Tolkien within his magnum opus, Lord of the Rings.

Sprinkled generously throughout the book are extrapolations regarding Tolkien’s philosophical view, which are employed in answering some of the most vital and profound philosophical questions.  The questions revolving around this regard: metaphysics (all-that is), philosophical theology (God), angelology (angels), cosmology (the cosmos), anthropology (man), epistemology (knowledge), philosophy of history, aesthetics (beauty), linguistics (philosophy of language), political philosophy and ethics.

Along with commentary about fifty of the greatest questions that have been ever asked regarding the topics above, the book features quite a few references to Lord Of The Rings as well as “three works of Tolkien’s that form the most authentic commendatory on it: his essay “On Fairy-Stories”, The Silmarillion, and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.”[1]

To help break down those fifty questions, Kreeft presents a variety of tools “for understanding each of the philosophical issues The Lord Of the Rings treats:

a.  An explanation of the meaning and importance of the question;
b.  a  key quotation from The Lord of the Rings showing how Tolkien answered the question (many more passages are given in the Concordance to The Lord of the Rings in the Appendix);
c.  a quotation from Tolkien’s other writings (usually a letter) that explains or comments on the them in The Lord of the Rings;
d.  a quotation from C.S. Lewis, Tolkien’s closest friend, showing the same philosophy directly stated.”[2]

As in his other works, Kreeft does a reliable job of not only introducing the topic to the reader and helping the reader get to ‘know’ the ghost of J.R.R. Tolkien and everything he stood for, but he also supplants that with reasonable analysis in showing why each of the philosophical questions answered by this particular book are important.

Kreeft opts to begin the book with an apt introduction not only telling the reader what the he seeks to accomplish, but also detailing comprehensive insights that tackle many of the questions the reader might have.  Kreeft even goes on to state the five dimensions that make any story great, and why and how The Lord of The Rings attains all those five dimensions.

Beyond that, and perhaps, more importantly, the following is the main reason why The Lord of the Rings has appealed so much to our culture:

The Lord of the Rings heals our culture as well as our souls.  It gives us the most rare and precious thing in modern literature: the heroic.  It is a call to heroism; it is a horn like the horn of Rohan, which Merry received from Théoden and used to rouse the Hobbits of the Shire from their sheepish niceness and passivity to throw off their tyrants, first in their souls and then in their society.”[3]

And in an age where authoritarianism, tyranny and fascism are becoming more mainstream, a book like this may perhaps help individuals rise out of their doldrums and help them become cognizant of the freedoms they are so quickly losing.  That’s a whole different story, though.

Another great strength of this book is that it shows why both philosophy and literature are joined at the hip.  This is because:

“They [philosophy and literature] can work like two lenses of a pair of binoculars.  Philosophy argues abstractly.  Literature argues too – it persuades, it changes the reader – but concretely.  Philosophy says truth, literature shows truth.”[4]

Finally, this book also features a Bibliography, as well as an Appendix that feature countless references which address the philosophy of Tolkien.

Whether you’re searching for an engaging book that goes into the deeper philosophical outlook of The Lord of the Rings, or perhaps a book that might serve as an introduction to philosophy, or simply a research tool that features a lot of substance regarding L.O.T.R. and Tolkien’s philosophy, ruminate upon getting this book, for it does all that, and more.

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Footnotes:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings, p. 10.
[2] Ibid., p. 11.
[3] Ibid., pp. 16-17.
[4] Ibid., p. 21.
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Suggested Book Reviews and video:

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Markos Ph.D.
The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Video]
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

February Book Haul 2017

February Book Haul.jpg
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 5, 2017

January’s Book haul opened the year up with some portentous books, and February continued that pattern to boot.

Without further ado, let’s begin:

Philosophy Of Tolkien: The Worldview Of Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

Having been reading quite a bit of Kreeft’s work in the last 6 months, it was intriguing to see him have a book which show insights on Lord Of The Rings.  The review of this is coming soon.

Summerhill School: A New View Of Childhood by A.S. Neil

Summerhill is a school that strove to allow children the ability to make choices in school in nigh everything that affects them, thus allowing them the option to be democratic in the very thing that will form the foundation for their life: education.  It’s an intriguing read, and if you are interested to read more about it check the review here.

On The Shoulder Of Hobbits: The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Markos

This book, like The Philosophy of Tolkien, is part of my recent binge on all-things Tolkien, and it was quite the book.  Markos does an exemplary job of giving salient examples of virtues which are sprinkled throughout the works of Tolkien & Lewis, and does so in cogent fashion.  Review of this coming soon, too.

Making Choices, Practical Wisdom For Every Moral Decision by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

The topic of morality doesn’t get enough attention, and having never taken a course on morality, nor done any research on it, thought it prudent to see what gems of wisdom one could glean from such a book like this.

Confessions Of A Reformed Southern Belle – A Poet’s Collection Of Love, Loss & Renewal by
Tosha Michelle

Am about half way through this.  Anyone that’s read Tosha’s poetry will know her type of work, which is always engaging as it is emotive.  Tosha is to poetry what stars are to the night sky.  A veritable Sorceress of the written word, in this book Tosha infuses her emotions on paper and holds nothing back.  It’s really a rather heartfelt read so far.  A review of this will come soon.

The Hobbit Party: The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got, And The West Forgot by Jay Richards

Thrice is nice?  This is another one within the Tolkien-binge-series yours truly has been ensconced in.  The Hobbit Party features insights on philosophy, theology, political theory, and much more.  Looking forward to reading this.

The Best Things In Life- A Contemporary Socrates Looks At Power, Pleasure, Truth & The Good Life by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

This is the foundation or Kreeft’s Socrates Meets Series, which essentially is the author’s fictional foray into questioning the greatest minds in philosophy through the fictional character of Socrates.   The author explores many salient issues such as money, education, morality, etc.  Looking forward to reading this very much.

The Collected Poems Of William Wordsworth by William Wordsworth

Hoping to engage in some of Wordsworth’s work, which has always intrigued me, and this  collection seemed a proper beginning.

Starcraft Evolution by Timothy Zahn

This is Sci-fi novel for the Starcraft fan.  If you haven’t read any of the previous books, or know about the game, this will probably not make much sense even though the author’s writing is pretty good.  Starcraft essentially follows three separate species, Humans being one of them, through their ongoing conflicts.  Might or might not write a review on it, we’ll see.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Susanne Collins

If you haven’t heard of the Hunger Games, feel free to click the X on the top right of the screen.  Just kidding!  Although have seen the movie, haven’t read the books, so thought it might be intriguing to actually read them since books are magnitudes superior to any movie.

Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying & Healing The Body Through Oral Cleansing by Dr. Bruce Fife.

Having been oil pulling for nigh 3 years, thought it prudent to research this further, and lo and behold, there was one sentence that was worth the entire price of the book, which wasn’t much anyways considering how much you gain from it.  If you’re looking for a simple way to help your health, ponder getting his book, or at least learning about oil pulling.  A review of this was just shared today here.

Holding Their Own [Volume 13]Renegade by Joe Nobody

Holding Their Own is post-apocalyptic fiction at its finest.  Haven’t read the book, so can’t comment on it.  But the series has been very engaging, the story is rather realistic, the characters are very intriguing and grow throughout the series, and it keeps a great pace throughout.  Holding Their Own is one of my three favorite post-apocalyptic series for sure.

Lawless [Lawless Trilogy] [V1] by Tarah Benner

Another post apocalyptic book that am hoping is a solid read.  Haven’t read any of Benner’s work yet, so am looking forward to delving into it.

Final Word

Make sure to look for the reviews of these books in the coming weeks/months.  Many of these books offer much to the readier in a variety of ways.

That said, what did all of you get this month?  If you have any book suggestions or comments, please feel free to share them below.

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

January Book Haul 2017

bookhauljanuary
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 10, 2017

At to risk of sounding out of touch with reality, just recently saw my first book haul of my life on someone’s wordpress.  YES, REALLY.  It’s all good, you can laugh.  It’s like someone that loves gaming never hearing of a Playstation, no?

It really shows what happens when you ensconce yourself in a hobbit hole for-beyond-ever.  How does a bibliophile end up not knowing about other people’s bibliophiliness? [If THAT could ever be a word!] Well, by being a book-a-holic de jour, of course.

All jest aside, as someone who reads books like they’re going out of style, figured it would be interesting/different to try one of these out and am going to attempt to do these monthly as well.

In any case, what follows are the titles of each of the books, and a short reason as to why these books were picked up.

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit by Corey Wilson

Making my way through The Hobbit and Lords Of The Rings for a second time, this seemed like a natural adjunct to The Hobbit, and it does not disappoint.  If you love Tolkien’s work, particularly The Hobbit, you will LOVE this.  The breadth and scope that Tolkien employed in The Hobbit was vastly more phenomenal than you could imagine.  But don’t take my word for it, do your own research.

Underground History Of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

Having read Gatto’s landmark books Dumbing Us Down [Review Here], A Different Kind Of Teacher [Review Here], and Weapons Of Mass Instruction [Review coming soon], this seemed like a nice way to round out my research into public schooling, particularly the historical side.  Of course, Gatto not only calls it how it is, but he’s methodical and precise in sourcing his material, showing how those within the establishment – in their own words – have wanted to dumb down education and create an enormous engine of conformity for over a century.  And it’s worked in spades, as can be seen here.  This book should really be a zinger.

Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets by Tom Van Flandern

Having read Dr. Joseph P. Farrell’s Cosmic War – Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics And Ancient Texts, getting Tom Van Flandern’s book seemed essential to understanding the exploded planet hypothesis that Dr. Farrell discusses in his book.

LONG story short, the hypothesis is that where the asteroid belt now resides, there used to be a planet and it was destroyed.  Van Flander did research into this, and found strong evidence for this particular theory.  Furthermore, there’s also evidence that this event was deliberate and not natural.  Ironically enough, for those that might think that idea sounds ludicrous, check this out:

British Scientists To Lead Hunt For Fragments Of ‘Dead Planets’ Hidden In Antarctica

How ‘bout them apples asteroids?

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Having not been taught nigh anything of the founding fathers in school, this was a must read.  One of those topics that doesn’t get enough coverage, and it’s because most of the populace are ignorant of it, mainly because public schooling is all but removing any semblance of true history from school.

Ask yourself, why don’t schools – high schools / colleges / universities – have any courses in Freedom?  For a country that loves to parade freedom around, it’s quite troublesome that its one main tenet isn’t ever discussed…

Am also planning on getting Franklin’s short autobiography soon, but all in due time.

Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, And Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick by Lynn Payer

After reading this particular link, getting this book was a must.  As an individual who’s always sharing information about the growing and rampant issues of Big Pharma in order to educate others, this book seemed indispensable.  Although a bit dated, am hopping the book still holds plenty of information valuable enough to share.

Before I Go – Letters To Our Children About What Really Matters by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

It took a long time for me to find a philosopher/individual that not only talked about classical philosophy in a manner one can learn from, but also many other unsung topics within that realm, which are still vital nonetheless.  Enter philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D.  Why did Kreeft like a natural fit for me, when there are countless people out there?

Kreeft is methodical, logical, precise, not overly complex, isn’t afraid to ask tough questions, uses simplicity quite often, and thinks in an analogical manner.  If there was EVER someone who would have been awesome as a professor, at least from my point of view, this person would be it.  Heck, Kreeft’s range in thought/discourse is so wide that even has a book on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Philosophy, called The Philosophy Of Tolkien: The Worldview Of Lord Of The Rings, which is on the way as we speak.

In any case, having reading Kreeft’s Socratic Logic [review here], and Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction To Philosophy via Plato’s Apology [review here], which are two indispensable books, mind you, am making it a point of getting all of his books that appeal to me, and the book above fit within those parameters.

Reading has become a mainstay in my life, and am finding that am learning magnitudes more than ever thought possible when compared to public schooling, which was a complete waste of time and didn’t yield anything of substance that couldn’t have been taught by people in homeschooling or by private tutoring.  That’s why am making it a point to continue being an autodidact, while also researching topics that will be of interest to myself, but might also help others in the process.

Have any of you done any bookhauls?  If you’ve done any, please share them below as it would be great to see what books individuals have gotten – or are considering for that matter – these last few months.

Book Review: Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

philosophy101
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 10, 2017

My introduction to Peter Kreeft’s work took place via his magnum opus Socratic Logic A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, And Aristotelian Principles Edition 3.1With that book Kreeft set the bar extremely high for his own work given the phenomenal job he did in the creation of that book.  Thankfully, that type of high quality standard travels with him to this other book.

Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft PhD is an indispensable introduction into the realm of Philosophy.

Although notably not as long as Kreeft’s book cited initially, this book still packs a punch.  The author creates what one may call a ‘user-friendly’ guide to Philosophy.

Given its length, the book can be read rather quickly.  Additionally, Philosophy 101 by Socrates is distilled to serve as a jump-off point for the reader/learner to venture forth into other philosophical topics.  Not only is it possible to use this book as a portable classroom, but it can be useful for homeschooling and even college classrooms.

Arguably the main strength of the Kreeft thesis is that philosophy takes no prisoners.  It questions everything.  Like a curious kid asking why in their nascent stage, it seeks truth – not belief – within every crevice it dares to delve into.  This may be problematic for individuals that do not want their beliefs question.

Kreeft shows how Socrates ‘philosophy operates in the following passage:

“Socrates is the apostle of reason.  He demands that we give logical reasons, grounds for beliefs, and follow the logical consequences of our beliefs, taken as premises or hypotheses, to their logical conclusions through a number of logically compelling steps.”[1]

Such incisiveness will undoubtedly get to the core of the issue far more often than not if employed correctly.

And yet, as Kreeft implies, philosophy isn’t an antithesis to certain disciplines, such as religion.  In fact, Kreeft goes to show how faith and reason can coexist if used trenchantly:

“One of the main functions of philosophy as practiced by Socrates is a critique of religion, finding reasons for (or against) faith.  These reasons often claim only probability rather than certainty; and even when they claim certainty, they may be mistaken) for man is not God and infallible); but it is surely a gain to use binocular vision, reason and faith, and to make at least somewhat clearer and/or more reasonable the ideas most people find the most important in their lives.”[2]

As an introduction to philosophy and Socrates simultaneously, one would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this.  In that Kreeft does an exceptional job in showing how Philosophy and Socrates interweave, especially given how Socrates planted many of the seeds for this whole discipline with his life’s work.

Using Plato’s Apology as a jump-off point, Kreeft undertakes the task to show the reader many of the ways philosophy can be understood by using forty different descriptions of the subject.  It was particularly interesting seeing the range of descriptions that Kreeft was able to come up with – some of it which might shock the reader – and how he was able to seamlessly show how apt those descriptions were to the act of philosophizing.

Subsequent to that Kreeft gives readers a cursory analysis of parts of the Euthyphro, as well as Phaedo, which are both dialogues by Plato, the latter of which details Socrates’ last days.  There are various purposes for the dialogues and the commentary that follows, and these merge swiftly with the overview of philosophy that Kreeft undertook.

One of the main strengths of this book is its ability to narrow complex topics into practical – but not overly simplified – gems of information that the reader can glean.  By contrast, many other philosophy books tend to overcomplicate philosophy, which turn readers off, or to oversimplify philosophy, which ends up not showcasing the latitude that philosophy can employ when used trenchantly.

This practical primer of philosophy also helps readers realize the importance of the art of cross-examination, which Socrates is the father of.  Coupled with that, and more importantly, by its very precision cross-examination employs in philosophy, Kreeft helps readers gain an understanding of the thorough depth which philosophy will go to in search for truth.  This journey in search for Wisdom will percolate into all disciplines, and can only strengthen an individual’s repertoire.

Drawing on all the data above, the book should be an integral component in education.  What the book offers is a template for what’s possible by philosophy’s employment, and not having these skills/knowledge in life emblematic of a surgeon at the operating room without a scalpel.

_________________________________________
Sources & References:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology, p. 104.
[2] Ibid., p. 141.

Breakaway Ruminations #3 – The Power Of Curiosity

imagination7
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 26, 2017

“The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity.”
– Edmund Burke

” People function better when they’re engaged and curious.”
– Tom Dotz & Tom Hoobyar, NLP – The Essential Guide

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
– Albert Einstein

For the individual, curiosity is indispensable.  Without curiosity, the individual finds itself without the compass through which they would plot their journey in life.

In life, curiosity serves multiple purposes.  Curiosity is the path through which we achieve truth, but also the path where we unleash imagination.  Ultimately, one cannot strive for truth, if one cannot search for it.  And one cannot search for truth, if one is not inherently curious.  Conversely, imagination, on the other hand, cannot be employed if one’s intrinsic curiosity is dull at bay.  How can one imagine, if one cannot wonder?  How can one wonder, if one is not curious?

This is why it’s imperative to foster curiosity at every turn, for it will yield amazing results.

Who better to learn about being curious, then children?

Children are amazing beings; they always wonder what’s possible.

If you spend enough time around them you will notice children will do the most random, unexpected, delightful, or at times downright bewildering things.

However, it’s reasonable to argue that most persistent thing a child will do when they reach that age is to ask why.  This is because questions, to children, are natural.  They cannot know the world without inquiring; they inherently realize this.  How else can one attain knowledge, but by figuring things out?  How else can one attain knowledge, but by employing curiosity?

Curiosity is to questioning, as clues are to solving crimes.

Every person that has interacted at length with a child will eventually run into questions of all types.

In fact, as a quick sidebar, not long ago, got into a very mindful and lengthy conversation with my friend’s daughter who was 11 or so.  This young kid had more curiosity than any other adult that has interacted with me for a long time.  It was rapid fire consistent questioning that you never get in adult life, and not aimless either.  There was incisive purpose to the questions throughout.  Every question built on the previous one; everything was as precise as it could be.  It was quite refreshing.  It’s a pity most people seem to merely have the facsimile of curiosity, rather than the actual trait.

As people grow older, this type of passion for curiosity and questioning is siphoned for many reasons and nigh doesn’t exist in adulthood in rare instances.

As adults, many tend to live life within the lines, never seeking life, or answers beyond societal-imposed boundaries.    Adults, or even adolescents for that manner, tend to have a different type of curiosity – a downgraded type of curiosity.  Adults tend to settle for the superficial answer.  And what’s worse, superficial answers barely even scratch the surface, and by their very nature are unable to get to the heart of issues.

Children, on the other hand, employ curiosity like precisely aimed arrows, which is their attempt to ascertain the world around them.  Moreover, just because they hit bullseyes doesn’t mean they will quit either.  If anything, they get more courageous, as if someone just told them there’s no limit to the amount of sugar they can have.

Children’s relentlessness for knowledge coupled with focused inquisitiveness helps hone the type of curiosity that gets to the heart of the matter.

Why is this?

In How To Read A Book [Review Here], Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren speak about very issue:

“The child is a natural questioner.  It is not the number of questions he asks but their character that distinguishes him from the adult.  Adults do not lose the curiosity that seems to be a native trait, but their curiosity deteriorates in quality.  They want to know whether something is so, not why.  But children’s questions are not limited to the sort that can be answered by an encyclopedia.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Children, like detectives, will not be stopped until they achieve the answers they seek.

However, although children are inherently curious, by adulthood, that curiosity has morphed into something else, something more static and less malleable.  Why such a change?

Part of this is the stamping out of imagination from public schooling, and part of it is propaganda.  How can propaganda play a part?  Ponder, haven’t we all heard, “Curiosity killed the cat”?  If that’s not propaganda, nothing is.  It’s a statement made to slam down curiosity, as if it’s a gnat to get rid of in one swift blow.  Translation: don’t ask that, don’t’ do that, don’t’ go there.  One might as well say, “Live within that box, and don’t dare move beyond it.”  It’s emblematic of living in fear, except it chains curiosity to the box.

Unfortunately, corralling curiosity can have detrimental side effects.  Without curiosity, individual learning within the boundaries of the world gets stultified, and we settle for ready-made answers [provided by others, rather than arrived through by personal insight] rather than journeying through the mysterious, and adventuring through life in search of the unknown.

And it is within the unknown that the lessons of life reside.

Philosopher Peter Kreeft, in his introduction to Philosophy via Plato’s Apology, writes in his Philosophy 101 by Socrates, and encapsulates the above issue best:

“…Socrates loves the unknown rather than fearing it.  That is almost the definition, the essence of a good learner.  Children who at an early age are punished for exploring the unknown will find it hard later to trust their own curiosity and will prefer the safety of the known, like scared rabbits afraid to come out of their comfortable holes.  Children who have been encouraged to question and explore the unknown are reward for doing so, will make good students, make many discoveries, and be happy doing so. The unknown is to them not like poison but like food.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

The unknown shouldn’t be feared.  In fact, it should be welcomed.  It’s an opportunity for growth; an opportunity to test knowledge, character, insight.

Moreover, a child’s inherent curiosity – or for that matter, everyone’s curiosity – should be encouraged constantly.  How else is an individual to foster creativity, and help imagination bloom if without not curiosity?

And even though children can at times go a little overboard with questions, questions still remains the best avenue for curiosity to be employed, which undoubtedly leads to finding the truth, which is what questions are about.

Regarding this, in The Imaginative Argument [review here], Frank L. Cioffi states the following:

“A very fundamental human act undergirds and empowers this activity of arguing for truth.  It’s one that you see in children all the time, one that might even be annoying: the relentless asking of questions.  Just as a child might ask again and again, “why?” until the parent finally shushes him or her with a “Because that’s the way it works,” or “Just because.  Now leave me alone!” so you as thinkers and writers should be asking question upon question…You should ask questions that will help you understand, assess, contextualize, make sense of a given situation, a given idea, text, or topic.  And these questions should reach outward – “What do others say?” – at the same time that they should delve within: “How do I feel about this?”  Questioning allows you to open yourself to possibilities – an action that characterizes genuinely creative thought.”[3][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

When one ruminates about it, when children question, they are little philosophers, for they seek the truth.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the questions children ask, are vitally more important than what most realize.

In fact, the questions children ask – that stem from the curiosity children feature – are not as far-fetched and unimportant as they may seem at first blush.

In fact, Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren even go as far as comparing the questions children ask to great philosophical books:

“…we do want to recognize that one of the most remarkable things about the great philosophical books is that they ask the same sort of profound questions that children askThe ability to retain the child’s view of the world, with at the same time a mature understanding of what it means to retain is, is extremely rare – and a person who has these qualities is likely to be able to contribute something really important to our thinking.

“We are not required to think as children in order to understand existence.  Children certainly do not, and cannot, understand it – if, indeed, anyone can.  But we must be able to see as children see, to wonder as they wonder, to ask as they ask.  The complexities of adult life get in the way of the truth.  The great philosophers have always been able to clear away the complexities and see simple distinctions – simple once they are stated, vastly difficult beforeIf we are to follow them we too must be childishly simple in our question – and maturely wise in our replies.”[4][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

Thus, in the child-like simplicity of asking questions one may embark on a voyage of curiosity that might contribute something phenomenal to our understanding.  How else is an individual, be they a child or an adult, going to breakaway from the conventional stultification of life and gravitate towards something more intriguing, and more profound?

Knowing this we must be constant in our resolve, and impervious in our creative thoughts as we foster curiosity.

Then, and only then, do we have any chance to arrive at the answers that could truly change your life.

Perhaps, just perhaps, next time we talk to a child or have a genuine conversation with an adult we could remember that the next question you’re asked might just teach you something you’ve never known before.

An 11-year-old’s curiosity changed my life.  When the last time a child’s curiosity – or anyone’s curiosity for that matter – changed yours?

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Sources & References:

[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, pg. 264.
[2] Peter Kreeft, Philosophy 101 by Socrates, pg. 54.
[3] Frank L. Cioffi, The Imaginative Argument, pg. xvi.
[4] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, pg. 265.