Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Storytelling is the Key to 9/11 Truth

Trial lawyers know that cases are won largely by the use of human stories and emotions, and not logic. Specifically, MOST people are swayed by emotion, and trials have to be argued with emotion and storytelling (logic also has to be used, especially to reach the minority of jurors who decide based strictly upon logic). All of the leading books on trial strategy say this.

That's also why so many articles in newspapers start out with a human story, before moving on to the facts: most readers will get turned off early in the article if it doesn't start with a personal, "human interest" story.

Psychologists who study how people make decisions say the same thing. For example, a recent article by a political psychologist (which is naive and wrong about Democrats being the good guys and other issues, but does get the basic psychology right) states:
If you appeal primarily to people's reason without first getting them to feel the significance of the issue you're talking about, they're not going to be interested. From an evolutionary standpoint, our emotions play two major roles. One, our emotions appear to capture our attention, so if you don't make emotionally compelling arguments, if you don't use stories or examples to grab listeners, they won't hear important things you have to say. The other role of emotion, which is probably most crucial, is that emotions motivate us -- positive feelings pull us towards things that are generally good for us, and negative emotions move us away from things that are generally bad for us. They're not flawless, by any means, and that's why reason is so helpful to help us tell the difference between a false smile and a real smile, or between a plan that makes sense and a plan that doesn't.
Logic is crucial in fighting for 9/11 truth and justice. Unless we stick with the most provable facts, the most credible speakers, and the most plausible theories, we'll be discredited.

But without emotion, we'll also lose . . .

We have to learn, in addition to using rigorous logic, to tell human stories about:

- High-level military leaders being furious at the deceptions by the current government

- People's fear of terrorism, and the real way to protect them

- Specific people being manipulated by false flag terror (for example, the Italians manipulated by the U.S. and NATO's Operation Gladio, or the Germans being manipulated by the Gleiwitz incident)

- Heroic, dying first responders being ignored by the government

- Grieving family member

- Loss of freedom

- The danger to our children of further false flag terrorism, fascism, and repression

- Other important themes which are emotional and thematic, as well as being true

We all have to learn how to become better storytellers (and at the same time, we have stick to only the most credible facts). Only if we do that will we win the battle for 9/11 truth and justice.

I believe that filmmakers like the Loose Change guys, We Are Change, and others are effective largely because they are good storytellers. The same is true of the artists who create effective visuals to help spread 9/11 truth. Storytelling is not just a verbal thing; it can be visual as well (indeed, top trial lawyers use sophisticated multimedia presentations to tell their story to the jury).

And some speakers already have world-class communication skills, such as David Ray Griffin, Dr. Bob Bowman, Alex Jones and Dr. Steven Jones. These people are so effective at communicating that they might not need to consciously think about the issues raised in this essay. But for the rest of us, the millions of 9/11 truth activists who are not exceptional communicators, focusing on the emotional stories and themes as well as credible facts is crucial.

Of course, some speakers can be as intellectual as they like: if they are a highly-credentialed expert, then their resumes speak so well for them that emotional intelligence (what has been called "EQ") is not so important.

Finally, psychological studies reveal an important sidenote to this discussion. Specifically, because of the way the brain works, false statements made early and often tend to be believed. And new studies reveal that attempts to debunk the false statements with facts actually tend to reinforce the myths in people's minds.

As summarized in an article in the Washington Post:
The psychological insights yielded by the research, which has been confirmed in a number of peer-reviewed laboratory experiments, have broad implications for public policy. The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.

This phenomenon may help explain why large numbers of Americans incorrectly think that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in planning the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and that most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi. While these beliefs likely arose because Bush administration officials have repeatedly tried to connect Iraq with Sept. 11, the experiments suggest that intelligence reports and other efforts to debunk this account may in fact help keep it alive.

The Post concludes that the studies show that "rather than deny a false claim, it is better to make a completely new assertion that makes no reference to the original myth".

Therefore, starting the discussion with a personal and human story about the Italian people who were deceived by the false flag operation known as Operation Gladio, or the German people who were deceived into supporting an invasion of Poland based upon the Gleiwitz false flag attack or by giving power to Hitler by the Reichstag fire may have the additional benefit of planting a new concept in people's minds -- the secret use of false flag terrorism by Western governments --
rather than reinforce false ideas they may have about 9/11 being solely carried out by Islamic terrorists.

Further thinking needs to be done about these emotional issues, and psychologists, social scientists, marketing experts and trial lawyers within the 9/11 truth movement have to recommend the best way to promote 9/11 truth based upon these concepts.


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