Spin – The Art of Political Lying

July 20, 2016


By Terence T. Gorski

Here is how Wilipedia defines and describes SPIN: 

Spin is propaganda or presenting lies to the public as the truth. The term, “plausible deniability” actual means to protect politicians from the consequences of getting caught in a lie. 

In public relations, Spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. 

While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]

Politicians are often accused by their opponents of claiming to be truthful and seek the truth while using spin tactics to manipulate public opinion. Large corporations with sophisticated public relations branches also engage in “spinning” information or events in their favor. 

Because of the frequent association between spin and press conferences (especially government press conferences), the room in which these take place is sometimes described as a spin room.

Public relations advisors, pollsters and media consultants who develop spin may be referred to as “spin doctors” or “spinmeisters” who manipulate the truth and create a biased interpretation of events for the person or group that hired them.
The term has its origin in the old American expression “to spin a yarn”. 

Sailors were known for using their spare time on board making thread or string (yarn) and also for telling incredible tales when they were on shore. 

When someone fooled you, it was said that “he spun me an amazing yarn”. Yarn also became a synonym for “tall tale” – “What a yarn!”, means “what a lie”. 

A coarser and more contemporary version of this expression is “bullshit”, and, for anyone who seeks to deceive, “bullshit artist”. 
History of Spin

Edward Bernays has been called the “Father of Public Relations”. As Larry Tye describes in his book The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and The Birth of Public Relations, Bernays was able to help tobacco and alcohol companies use techniques to make certain behaviors more socially acceptable in the 20th-century United States. Tye claims that Bernays was proud of his work as a propagandist. 

As information technology has increased dramatically since the end of the 20th century, commentators like Joe Trippi have advanced the theory that modern Internet activism spells the end for political spin. By providing immediate counterpoint to every point a “spin doctor” can come up with, this theory suggests, the omnipresence of the Internet in some societies will inevitably lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of spin.[4]
The techniques of spin include:
Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one’s position (cherry picking). For example, a pharmaceutical company could pick and choose trials where their product shows a positive effect, ignoring the unsuccessful trials, or a politician’s staff could handpick speech quotations from past years which appear to show her support for a certain position)

  • Non-denial denial
  • Non-apology apology
  • Politically-correct deception
  • Making misinformation (deliberate lies) seem like the truth 

“Mistakes were made” is an expression that is commonly used as a rhetorical device, whereby a speaker acknowledges that a situation was managed by using low-quality or inappropriate handling but seeks to evade any direct admission or accusation of responsibility by not specifying the person who made the mistakes. The acknowledgement of “mistakes” is framed in an abstract sense, with no direct reference to who made the mistakes and what exactly the mistakes were. The ultimate mistake, of course, is to get caught in the lie. 

A less evasive construction might be along the lines of “I made mistakes” or “John Doe made mistakes.” The speaker neither accepts personal responsibility nor accuses anyone else. The word “mistakes” also does not imply intent.
Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths, or avoiding the question[5]

“Burying bad news”: announcing unpopular things at a time when it is believed that the media will focus on other news. In some cases, governments have released potentially controversial reports on summer long weekends, to avoid significant news coverage. Sometimes that other news is supplied by deliberately announcing popular items at the same time.

Spin includes the art of misdirection and diversion[6]

For years businesses have used fake or misleading customer testimonials by editing/spinning customers to reflect a much more satisfied experience than was actually the case. In 2009 the Federal Trade Commission updated their laws to include measures to prohibit this type of “spinning” and have been enforcing these laws as of late. 

Additionally, over the past 5 to 6 years several companies have arisen that verify the authenticity of the testimonials businesses present on the marketing materials in an effort to convince one to become a customer.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_(propaganda) 

GORSKI BOOKS: www.relapse.org


What Makes Us Stronger

July 7, 2016


By Terence T. Gorski

What Makes Us Stronger? Why is that question important?
The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche believed this simple principle:

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

The principle is correct on many levels. It eloquently states Nietzsche’s “superman hypothesis” which proposed that it is best for people to be determined, strong and merciless so that human empathy and compassion did not interfere with people living their lives or supporting their collective causes.

This philosophy of Nietzsche was embraced by Hitler and integrated at the core of the education and training to be a NAZIS.

I believe that ideas have powerful personal and collective consequences. Either for good or evil. The more eloquently and memorably an idea is crafted the more effective it is. Ideologies that are brief, easy to remember and repeat to others are most effective. These brief compelling descriptions of ideologies take on a life of their own as they spread from mind to mind.

I try to be careful about the ideologies I embrace and promote because I realize a well-crafted idea is more powerful than a loaded gun.

Like a virus, once an idea or ideology is released to other minds it spreads and is very difficult to stop.

GORSKI-BOOKS: www.relapse.org


The Death Bed

May 9, 2016

By Siegfried Sassoon
He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped 

Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls; 

Aqueous like floating rays of amber light, 

Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.

Silence and safety; and his mortal shore 

Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death. 

 

Someone was holding water to his mouth. 

He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped 

Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot 

The opiate throb and ache that was his wound. 

Water—calm, sliding green above the weir; 

Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat, 

Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers 

And shaken hues of summer: drifting down, 

He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept. 

 

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward, 

Blowing the curtain to a gummering curve. 

Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars 

Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud; 

Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green, 

Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes. 

 

Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark; 

Fragrance and passionless music woven as one; 

Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers 

That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps 

Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace, 

Gently and slowly washing life away. 

He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain 

Leaped like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore 

His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs. 

But someone was beside him; soon he lay 

Shuddering because that evil thing had passed. 

And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared. 

Light many lamps and gather round his bed. 

Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live. 

Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet. 

He’s young; he hated war; how should he die 

When cruel old campaigners win safe through? 

But death replied: “I choose him.” So he went, 

And there was silence in the summer night; 

Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep. 

Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.
Source: The Old Huntsman and Other Poems (1917)


GORSKI ADDICTION MODEL

April 26, 2016

  The Gorski Comprehensive Addiction Model is a a science-based system that incorporates both chemical and behavioral addictions in a comprehensive biopsychosocial perspective. 

THE HUMAN CONDITION: The Gorski Model builds upon a recognition that all addiction is based within the human condition. The human condition is organized and directed by the CORE HUMAN PROCESSES OF PERSONALITY

DEVELOPMENT. The human process begins with an intangible but self-evident primal life force which motivates human beings to survive and thrive in the physical world. The frustration resulting from the collision of the infinite potential of the human spirit with the finite limitation of the physical world results in ANGST, the normal pain of life and living. ANGST is managed by people in one of three ways: DENIAL, it doesn’t exist – everything is beautiful;

DEMORALIZATION, since life hurts I will just give up and stop trying; or MOTIVATION, in spite of the psi of living there is a counterbalancing joy in living that makes it worth while. Motivated people to STRIVE to find safety, security, excitement, and accomplishment in an often difficult and hostile world. They maintain their motivation because of the capacity human beings have for with PASSION. With maturity passion becomes focused into psychological and spiritual practices that help people find peace, serenity, and security without the constant need to strive, perform, and produce.

Many people find that a state of euphoria induced by the addictive use of alcohol and other drugs can give them short term relief from the angst of life. Unfortunately, people who experience this addictive brain response are at high risk of developing addiction. The addictive release leads to obsession I have intrusive thoughts about how good the euphoric response felt. I feel a COMPULSION to repeat the experience.

As the compulsion becomes stronger it turns into CRAVING which turns wanting the addictive release into the need for the addictive release. This creates a self reinforcing pattern of addictive use which is called ADDICTION, which is marked a compulsive pattern of DRUG SEEKING BEHAVIOR.

Over time, the cycle can be described as a EUPHORIC RESPONSE to addictive use, a DYSPHORIC RESPONSE to abstinence, a CRAVING or perceived need to use, DEPENDENCE or being unable to function normally without addictive use, and TOLERANCE the need to use more in order to get the same level of euphoria.

Once the ADDICTION CYCLE BEGINS, addictive THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, URGES, and ACTIONS become engrained in automatic and unconscious habits. These habits attract people who support the addictive way of life or are willing to become committed to enabling it.

These Social and Cultural Reactions to addiction create a permissive environment for early stage addiction when addictive use makes people feel good and be more productive and stigma reaction when people lose control and begin stepping outside of social, cultural and legal limits.

This is all part of the addiction, which is a health crd problem that is best dealt with using a Public health Addiction Policy:

(1) TOXIC SUBSTANCE: Identifying the toxic substances causing the illness;

(2) VULNERABLE HOST: Identifying the people who are predisposed to addiction); and

(3) PERMISSIVE ENVIRONMENT: Changing the societal and cultural norms that make ready access to and heavy regular use of the toxic substances and behaviors socially, culturally, and personally unacceptable.

Gorski Books: http://www.relapse.org

Gorski Training: http://www.cenaps.com 

Gorski On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gorskirecovery

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

– Permission is granted to repost or distribute this graphic and article. –


Young In Spirit

February 4, 2016

When I was young I felt all-powerful. There was nothing that I could not do. When I walked the earth shook beneath my feet. When I ran, the world turned a little bit faster. I am still young in spirit. It’s just that my body doesn’t always cooperate.   
 


My Burnout Prevention Plan 

February 3, 2016


By Terence T. Gorski,

GORSKI-BOOKS

I keep myself from burning out and becoming jaded by doing my best to focus my mind on the following things:

1. Praying: My primary repetitive prayer is: “God teach me of your will for me and give me the courage to carry that out.”

2. Renewing My Commitment To Help: I keep reinforcing that “we keep it by giving it away.” When we help others without trying to control those we are helping and without allowing ourselves to be exploited it helps me to keep a positive perspective. 

3. Knowing My Limitations: I am just a fallible human being. I cannot help everyone at all times. Sometimes the best way to help is to get out if the way so other people can help in ways that I cannot. When I am trying to save a life by applying direct pressure to an arterial bleed, I gladly get out of the way at let trained and equipped paramedics take over. 

This is often difficulty for me. My grandiosity gets in the way. I have the mistaken belief that I can do all things and save all people. 

4. I Dream Big: I see myself as a part of the revolution of the human spirit and human consciousness that will slowly, one person at a time, create a sober and responsible world. I find it takes no more energy to have a big heroic dream than it does to have a small intimidating dream. I have found that big dreams based upon solid values inspire others to strive to do better.

5. I Manage My Expectations: I hope for the best when doing my work. I am prepared for the worst. I take time to enjoy the many beautiful and incredible wonders that surround be every day. I am strive to be constantly greatly for all the good things that are freely given to me in life. 

6. I Keep Perspective: I can’t do it alone, I can only do my part. I realize the power of a team of people working in harmony towards the same goal is powerful. I strive to stay focused on building a sober and responsible world one day at a time with the help of others. 

7. I Take Time For Myself: I have areas of interest that focus my mind on many other things that I find inspiring or helpful. I read voraciously and take the lessons from everything I read that can lift my spirits and give me a positive and heroic fantasy life — kind of like I am “The Walter Mitty of the Addiction Field.” 

8. I Strive To Consistently Move Forward Even When I Don’t Feel Like It: I strive to work day-by-day to contribute things to others that will leave the world a better place. This is called building a legacy in the minds and hearts of others. 

9. I Deal With Reality: I Deal With the immediate reality that confronts me by trying to do the next right thing to keep moving toward creating my life goal of leaving the world a little bit better because I passed this way. 

10. I Strive To Transcend Fear: I have developed the habit of facing fear without letting the fear control me. One of my favorite tool for this is Frank Herbert’s Litany Against Fear: 

  • “I must not fear.
  • Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
  • I will face my fear.
  • I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
  • And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
  • Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

11. I Use The Serenity Prayer: I reflect often and deeply upon the meaning of The Serenity Prayer: 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I find The Serenity Prayer to be a useful tool in helping me to both step out of my grandiosity and step up to my human duty to help even when I am afraid: 

  • GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY (I attempt to help others when I am at peace within myself and connected with my Higher Power) 
  • TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE (I recognize that there are people I cannot help. I have learned to detach with love and without guilt), 
  • THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN (I strive to shut down my grandiosity which tells me that I can save the world world in a single day all by myself.) 
  • AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE (I strive to learn from experience by becoming better at knowing when and how to help and when it us better to detach, recharge my batteries, and perhaps ask others to help me. I pick my battles and invest my limited resources where they will do the most good.

11. I Collect Quotable Quotes: My two favorites are:

    • “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy; and
    • “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ~ Albert Einstein.

      12. I Try Not To. Take Myself to Seriously: I try to learn something from everyone I meet and everything I do. I strive to be humble by “accepting the things I cannot change, changing the things that I can, and learning to know the difference.” I act upon my strengths without asking for permission. I overcome or compensate for my weaknesses by asking for and receiving help.

      To sum it up, I recognize that I am a fallible human being; that I will die and have limited time to live; and that it’s up to me to do the best I can with the cards I am dealt in life. I know that I might be wrong so I stay open to learning, changing and growing. I accept the fact that I am responsible for my life, what I choose to do and not do, and what I choose to focus my mind upon. I look up all words I read or hear to understand what they mean. I realize that language programs the brain/mind so I am careful about what I say to myself and others.

      Carpe Diem! (Seize the day)
      Illigitimi non carborundum! (Don’t let the bastards wear you down.)

      GORSKI-BOOKS: www.relapse.org 


      Addiction As A Brain Disease: Literature Review 

      February 1, 2016

         

      Review article reinforces support for brain disease model of addiction

      January 28, 201
      https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2016/01/review-article-reinforces-support-brain-disease-model-addiction​ 


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