A Little Truth about Big Lies

an inclusive pride flag on fence post in sunshine, with a brick house and lawn in the background

It is a little truth universally acknowledged that a big lie, repeated loudly and often, will be accepted as truth against all rational expectation. A lot of big lies are getting a lot of traction out there in the world, and I’m feeling ranty about it. SO I AM POSTING. GRR. ARGH.

Belief in a big lie becomes easier with repetition, and also with repeated exposure. Even refuting big lies spreads them more, because refuting requires repeating.

Exposure breeds and fosters belief even in people who don’t want to believe. This is why moderation in online venues is so hazardous to the mental health of the people who do it.

Belief starts to feel reasonable. Rational. It’s like an optical illusion but for the brain. You can learn to recognize it, but you canNOT prevent it.

All informational media amplify this effect. You do not make your decisions in a vacuum. Narrative is seductive. Logical, thoughtful, reasonable political positions CAN be based on big lies.

Oh! And if you’re a good person who questions authority and thinks for yourself, you are MORE likely to be fooled & need to be extra aware of.

Stick that in your thinking cap and ponder it. I do.

Don’t ignore the narratives, however. (It’s impossible anyway. Our brains are set up to soak in narratives like sponges.)

INstead, look to the trustworthiness of the narrative sources. Despite the power of lies, they have weaknesses too.

Those who live by the Big Lie follow a predictable strategy when challenged or opposed–BECAUSE THAT STRATEGY WORKS.

Here be the Big Lie strategy.

I didn’t create it. I found lotsa wise folks discussing it online, and you can too. You do, however, need to know this when you see it happening.

  1. Denial
  2. Obfuscation
  3. Deflection
  4. Projection
  5. Personal attack
  6. Logical fallacy of choice
  7. Back to the top.

They’ll keep cycling in that order, every time, because “LIE BIGGER” the best cure for being caught in a big lie.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. And when someone tells you something is true, you should treat them as if they believe it.

Finally, instead of trying to refute lies, consider a different strategy. When you tell your little truth a little louder and a little more often, you’re doing more to counter act big lies than if you fight them directly.

So tell a different, better truer story. When it’s safe, wear your little truth on your sleeve whenever you can, and wave it in people’s faces if you want.

This might be a post about Pride Month.

The latest in book things:

The Sharp Edge of Yesterday

A mother on the run from her criminal past can’t escape the dangerous superpower developing inside her own body.

Grace Reed just wants to be left alone with her daughters, her small business and her quiet suburban life.

Fate has something bigger planned for all of them.

A contemporary fantasy novel about coming of age in middle age, The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday is in bookstores & libraries now.

Amazon (ebook & print)

Bookshop.org (print)

a selection of non-Amazon ebook vendors

More info here on my website

Cover for Sharp Edge of Yesterday: A Rollover Novel, showing a woman in flames crossing an autumn meadow under a deep blue partyl-cloudy sky
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